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Nutrición Hospitalaria

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


GARCIA-ARIAS, M. T. et al. Iron, folate and vitamins B12 & C dietary intake of an elderly institutionalized population in León, Spain. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2003, vol.18, n.4, pp.222-225. ISSN 1699-5198.

Aging is associated with increased risk of developing anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the daily intake of micronutrient whose deficient in diet could cause anaemia (iron, folic acid, vitamin B12) and vitamin C to establish the prevalence of anaemia in a group of institutionalized of 124 elderly subjects residing in five nursing homes in León (Spain). A precise weighing method was used to conduct the control of food intake covering seven days. Energy, alcohol, iron, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin C intake were obtained. Weight, and Height also were measured. Serum iron, serum ferritin, haemoglobin and hematocrit were also measured. Average daily iron intake was higher than the 10 mg recommended by the National Academy of Science although significantly higher (p < 0.05) in males (17.0 ± 7.4 mg) than in females (11.8 ± 1.5 mg). Moreover, vitamin C intake in all subjects is high (118.8 ± 43.7 mg) and higher than Spanish RDA (198%). Average intakes of folate and vitamin B12 in the present study exceeded the RDA, (103% and 144%). However, 45.83% of males and 5.97% of females showed deficiencies in vitamin B12 and 53.91% of the subjects showed deficiencies in folic acid. The average haemoglobin concentration (14.28 ± 1.33 g/dL), hematocrit percentage (43.71 ± 6.31), ferritin concentration (87.01 ± 59.74 ng/mL) and serum iron (85.36 ± 33.98 µg/dL) showed similar figures to the results obtained in other studies carried out on elderly populations. It would be necessary to adequately compose the menus given in nursing homes, decreasing energy contribution, and supplying micronutrient rich foods or fortified foods.

Keywords : Anaemia; Elderly; Iron; Folate; Vitamin B12; Vitamin C.

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