Objectives: Although the presence of dysphagia is a key determinant of nutritional status among older adults, few studies have focused on the association between malnutrition and dysphagia risk in community-dwelling frail older adults. This study estimated the prevalence of malnutrition and quantified the association between malnutrition and dysphagia risk among community-dwelling older Japanese adults requiring long-term care. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: This study was conducted with the cooperation of the Japan Dental Association and local dental associations in all 47 prefectures from January to February 2012. Participants: Individuals aged ≥65 years capable of oral nutrient intake who were living at home and receiving home dental care and treatment. Measurements: Individual demographic characteristics and factors associated with health loss-related functional decline were obtained through interviews by home-visit dentists and self-administered questionnaires. Nutritional status and dysphagia risk were evaluated using the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form and the Dysphagia Risk Assessment for the Community-dwelling Elderly. Results: Among 874 respondents (345 men and 529 women), 24.6% were malnourished, 67.4% were at risk of malnutrition, and 8.0% were well nourished. Dysphagia risk was related to an increased likelihood of malnutrition at an old age, even after adjusting for covariates (PR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.01-1.67). Conclusion: Malnutrition is highly prevalent among community-dwelling frail older adults, and dysphagia risk is independently associated with malnutrition. Dysphagia may be an important predictor of malnutrition progression in aged populations.
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