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Prevalence and determinants of low protein intake in very old adults: insights from the Newcastle 85+ Study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nuno MendoncaORCiD, Dr Antoneta Granic, Professor John Mathers, Professor Thomas Hill, Dr Mario Siervo, Professor Ashley AdamsonORCiD, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Author(s) Purpose: The very old (aged ≥ 85 years), fastest growing age group in most western societies, are at especially high risk of muscle mass and strength loss. The amount, sources and timing of protein intake may play important roles in the aetiology and management of sarcopenia. This study investigated the prevalence and determinants of low protein intake in 722 very old adults participating in the Newcastle 85+ Study. Methods: Protein intake was estimated with 2 × 24-h multiple pass recalls (24 h-MPR) and contribution (%) of food groups to protein intake was calculated. Low protein intake was defined as intake < 0.8 g of protein per adjusted body weight per day. A backward stepwise multivariate linear regression model was used to explore socioeconomic, health and lifestyle predictors of protein intake. Results: Twenty-eight percent (n = 199) of the community-living very old in the Newcastle 85+ Study had low protein intake. Low protein intake was less likely when participants had a higher percent contribution of meat and meat products to total protein intake (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95, 1.00) but more likely with a higher percent contribution of cereal and cereal products and non-alcoholic beverages. Morning eating occasions contributed more to total protein intake in the low than in the adequate protein intake group (p < 0.001). Being a woman (p < 0.001), having higher energy intake (p < 0.001) and higher tooth count (p = 0.047) was associated with higher protein intake in adjusted models. Conclusion: This study provides novel evidence on the prevalence of low protein intake, diurnal protein intake patterns and food group contributors to protein intake in the very old.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mendonca N, Granic A, Mathers JC, Hill TR, Siervo M, Adamson AJ, Jagger C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Nutrition

Year: 2017

Volume: 57

Issue: 8

Pages: 2713-2722

Online publication date: 25/09/2017

Acceptance date: 17/09/2017

Date deposited: 03/10/2017

ISSN (print): 1436-6207

ISSN (electronic): 1436-6215

Publisher: Springer Medezin


DOI: 10.1007/s00394-017-1537-5


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