Malnutrition risk among older mexican adults in the mexican health and aging study

Jaqueline C. Avila, Rafael Samper-Ternent, Rebeca Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Few studies assess the malnutrition risk of older Mexican adults because most studies do not assess nutritional status. This study proposes a modified version of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) to assess the risk of malnutrition among older Mexicans adults in the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). Data comes from the 2012, 2015, and 2018 waves of the MHAS, a nationally representative study of Mexicans aged 50 and older. The sample included 13,338 participants and a subsample of 1911 with biomarker values. ROC analysis was used to calculate the cut point for malnutrition risk. This cut point was compared to the definition of malnutrition from the ESPEN criteria, BMI, low hemoglobin, or low cholesterol. Logistic regression was used to assess predictors of malnutrition risk. A score of 10 was the optimal cut point for malnutrition risk in the modified MNA. This cut point had high concordance to identify malnutrition risk compared to the ESPEN criteria (97.7%) and had moderate concordance compared to BMI only (78.6%), and the biomarkers of low hemoglobin (56.1%) and low cholesterol (54.1%). Women, those older than 70, those with Seguro Popular health insurance, and those with fair/poor health were more likely to be malnourished. The modified MNA is an important tool to assess malnutrition risk in future studies using MHAS data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1615
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • MHAS
  • MNA
  • Malnutrition
  • Mexico
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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