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A cross-sectional study of the nutritional status of community-dwelling people with idiopathic Parkinson's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard Walker



Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) patients have an increased risk of under-nutrition, but we are unaware of any population based prevalence studies of under-nutrition in PD. The main objective of this study was to identify the prevalence, and nature, of under-nutrition in a representative population of people with PD. Methods: People diagnosed with idiopathic PD from within two PD prevalence study sites in North-East England were asked to participate in this study. Those who participated (n = 136) were assessed using a number of standard rating scales including Hoehn & Yahr stage and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Body mass index (BMI), mid-arm circumference (MAC), triceps skin fold thickness (TSF) and grip strength were recorded together with social and demographic information. Results: BMI < 20 identified over 15% of the study group to have under-nutrition. The Malnutritional Universal Screening Tool (MUST) scoring system identified 23.5% of participants at medium or high risk of malnutrition. Low BMI, indicating under-nutrition, was associated with greater age and disease duration, lower MAC, TSF, mid-arm muscle circumference (MAMC), reduced grip strength and a report of unintentional weight loss. Problems increased with increasing age and disease duration and were greater in females. Conclusions: Under-nutrition is a problem for around 15% of community dwelling people with PD. All PD patients should be screened for under-nutrition; the MUST score is a useful early screening tool.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jaafar AF, Gray WK, Porter B, Turnbull EJ, Walker RW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Neurology

Year: 2010

Volume: 10

Issue: 1

Pages: 124

Print publication date: 30/12/2010

Date deposited: 10/11/2011

ISSN (print):

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2377

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/1471-2377-10-124


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