Friday April 26, 2019

Here’s How Marriage Can Protect You From Malnutrition in Old Age

According Volkert, a lack of appetite, which is often perceived as a key cause of malnutrition, was of no relevance.

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Marriage
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While malnutrition can occur at any age, elderly people, aged 65 and above, who are particularly prone to it can safeguard themselves with marriage, according to a study.

The findings showed that people who are unmarried, separated or divorced are most often affected, whilst men and women who are either married or widowed tend to take better care of themselves.

The consequences of malnutrition are manifold. They range from weight loss to a weakened immune system or functional impairment of muscles and all organs. The body falls back on all its reserves.

“The older the people are, the more likely it is that they will suffer from malnutrition. The risk increases a little with every year that passes,” said Dorothee Volkert, from Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU) in Germany.

“Malnutrition in the elderly appears to be caused by a surprisingly narrow range of factors. Only age, marital status, difficulties with walking and coping with stairs and stays in hospital had a significant role to play,” Volkert added.

Marriage
Married couple. Pixabay

In the study, appearing in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the team set out to explore which of a total of 23 variables — ranging from aspects such as difficulties with chewing and swallowing or cognitive impairments to loneliness and depression or moving into a care home — were decisive for malnutrition.

The researchers took six existing sets of data which included 4,844 participants, aged between 72 and 85, from Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Also Read- Exercising Too Little Puts Your Health At Risk: WHO

According Volkert, a lack of appetite, which is often perceived as a key cause of malnutrition, was of no relevance.

She recommended carrying out further studies to obtain a common definition of malnutrition. (IANS)

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First-Of-Its-Kind Scientific Study Reveals, One Feels Old Early In India Than in Japan

"Government leaders and other stakeholders influencing health systems need to consider when people begin suffering the negative effects of ageing."

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old age
Age-related health problems can lead to early retirement, a smaller work force, and higher health spending. Pixabay

If you live in India, you will begin to suffer the negative effects of ageing at an early age than if you live in Japan or Switzerland, says a first-of-its-kind scientific study.

According to the paper published in The Lancet Public Health, a 30-year-gap separates countries with the highest and lowest ages at which people experience the health problems of a 65-year-old.

Researchers found 76-year-olds in Japan and 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea have the same level of age-related health problems as an “average” person aged 65.

The study, however, noted that countries such as China and India are performing better in all age-related disease burden rankings.

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Researchers found 76-year-olds in Japan and 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea have the same level of age-related health problems as an “average” person aged 65. Pixabay

India ranks 159th on age-related burden rate and 138th on age-related disease burden rate.

France (76 years) was third, Singapore fourth (76 years) and Kuwait fifth (75.3 years) in the age-related disease burden rankings. At 68.5 years, the United States ranked 54th, between Iran (69 years) and Antigua and Barbuda (68.4 years).

“The findings show increased life expectancy at older ages can either be an opportunity or a threat to the overall welfare of population, depending on the ageing-related health problems the population experiences regardless of chronological age.” said Angela Y Chang, lead author from the University of Washington.

Age-related health problems can lead to early retirement, a smaller work force, and higher health spending.

old age
India ranks 159th on age-related burden rate and 138th on age-related disease burden rate. Pixabay

“Government leaders and other stakeholders influencing health systems need to consider when people begin suffering the negative effects of ageing,” Chang said.

The negative effects, include impaired functions and loss of physical, mental, and cognitive abilities resulting from the 92 medical conditions analysed — five of which are communicable and 81 non-communicable, along with six injuries.

To reach the conclusion, the researchers measured “age-related disease burden” by aggregating all disability-adjusted life years — a measurement of loss of healthy life, related to the 92 diseases.

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Using global average 65-year-olds as a reference group, Chang and the team also estimated the ages at which the population in each country experienced the same related burden rate.

The study covered the period of 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries and territories. (IANS)