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Clinical nutrition

Nutritional status of Chinese oldest-old adults (≥80 years of age): a cross-sectional study in Beijing



Nutrition is associated with frailty, functional impairments, and mortality in elderly people. Only a few studies focused on oldest-old hospitalized patients with worse health and more comorbidities compared with the general older adults in China.


This study aimed to investigate the nutritional risk, malnutrition, and nutritional support status of oldest-old hospitalized patients (≥80 years of age) in China, and to provide a basis for implementing an effective nutritional intervention.


This study involved 358 oldest-old patients of Peking Union Medical College Hospital in China. The Nutrition Risk Screening 2002 scale was used to assess nutritional risk. Malnutrition was defined as body mass index (BMI) < 18.5 kg/m2; or unwanted weight loss >10% at any time, or unwanted weight loss >5% in recent 3 months and BMI < 22 kg/m2. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with nutritional risk.


The overall frequency of nutritional risk and malnutrition was 50.3% (180/358) and 36.0% (129/358), respectively. Also, 134 (37.3%) patients received nutritional support; the ratio of parenteral nutrition (PN) to enteral nutrition (EN) was 1.35:1. Further, 106 (58.9%) patients with nutritional risk received nutritional support. The number of chronic diseases and age were protective factors, and activities of daily living (ADL) were risk factors.


The overall frequencies of nutritional risk and malnutrition of oldest-old hospitalized patients were high, and the rates of EN and PN were low. Nutritional risk was associated with the number of chronic diseases, age, and ADL.

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Data availability

The data sets generated and/or analyzed in the present study are not publicly available due to the need to protect patient privacy but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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We thank the patients for their invaluable participation.

Author information




XL and HZ had full access to all data and took responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. XL, HZ, KY, and XH were responsible for the study concept and design. XL and HZ were involved in the acquisition of data. HZ, XH, and KY analyzed and interpreted the data. XL and HZ wrote the manuscript. XL, KY, and XH substantively revised the manuscript. XH and XL finally approved the draft of the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Xiaoxing Lai or Xiaopeng Huo.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All authors have read and approved this version of the manuscript, and due care has been taken to ensure the integrity of the study. Neither the entire manuscript nor any part of its content has been published or has been accepted elsewhere. It is not being submitted to any other journal.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

This study was approved by the ethics committee of the hospital. Following an explanation of the purpose of the study, consent was obtained from patients who met the eligibility criteria and agreed to participate.

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Cite this article

Lai, X., Zhu, H., Du, H. et al. Nutritional status of Chinese oldest-old adults (≥80 years of age): a cross-sectional study in Beijing. Eur J Clin Nutr 75, 1040–1046 (2021).

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