SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.33 issue3General strength index and adiposity as a measure of health-related physical fitness among children and adolescents from Bogotá, Colombia: the FUPRECOL StudyFood consumption and risk of malnutrition in community-dwelling very old Spanish adults (≥ 80 years) author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


LOPEZ LIROLA, Emilia María; IRIBAR IBABE, María Concepción  and  PEINADO HERREROS, José María. The calf circumference as a quick-reliable marker of malnutrition in hospitalized elderly: Its relation with age and gender. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2016, vol.33, n.3, pp.565-571. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: Malnutrition in the hospitalized elderly is very common, and it frequently predicts, not only the lengthened hospital stay, but also the prognosis and other adverse pathologies. Nutritional assessment can be based on anthropometric measurements, biochemical parameters and nutritional tests. Objectives: To evaluate if the calf circumference is a valid indicator of malnutrition in the elderly patient recently hospitalized, analysing the possible influence of sex and age. Material and methods: A descriptive study in 907 pluripathological elderly patients has been performed upon arrival to the Hospital. The average age was 82,13±7,08 years. Number of lymphocytes, total cholesterol, plasma transferrin and plasma albumin were evaluated. In addition the nutritional status was evaluated using the Mini Nutritional Assessment, Nutritional Risk Screening and subjective Global assessment tests. Finally it was determined the calf circumference. Results: Nutritional tests show a malnutrition average near to 75%. Biochemical parameters show a percentage of malnutrition ranging from 63.4% to 76.7% and the results for the calf circumference were 74.2%. The prevalence of malnutrition is higher in women, regardless of the parameter used. Age, particularly from 85 years, increases the malnutrition risk under all parameters. All parameters are correlated with the calf circumference, settling the concept "be malnourished" in the cut-off point of 29 cm, for both sexes and in all different age groups (sensitivity 99.31%). Conclusions: 75% of the elderly population presents malnutrition upon arrival at the hospital. Calf circumference is an easy marker of mKey words: Nutrition assessment. Calf circumference. Elderly frail. Albumin. MNA.alnutrition in the elderly, with high sensitivity and reliability, independently of sex and age.

Keywords : Nutrition assessment; Calf circumference; Elderly frail; Albumin; MNA.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )