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In this study, several health problems in nursing home patients were significantly associated with obesity. These results indicate that healthcare teams in nursing homes should monitor the nutritional status of patients and ensure a healthy weight while preserving muscle mass so as to prevent any weight-related health complications. 

Previous studies have indicated an increase in obesity prevalence in nursing home patients. This can be associated with the challenges associated with the care and management of such patients in nursing homes. The current study aimed to investigate the prevalence of obesity and the associated care-related problems in nursing home patients.

The study’s findings, published in the journal Nutrients, showed that approximately 16.7% of the study population was obese, and there was a significant association between obesity and urinary incontinence, whereas the risk of obesity was negatively correlated with increasing age and care dependency. 

Study Characteristics

A total of 1236 nursing home patients completed the survey, which further comprised 207 patients with obesity and 1029 patients without obesity. The median age of the patients was 86 (12) years, and the median care dependency score was 44 (29) on the care dependency scale (CDS). The median body mass index (BMI) of the participants was 24.5 (6.6) kg/m2

Urinary Incontinence in Obese and Non-Obese Patients

There was a significant difference in urinary incontinence between obese and non-obese nursing home patients. Unlike urinary incontinence, which was more prevalent in obese patients, while non-obese patients had a significantly greater prevalence of double incontinence as well as fall-related injuries and physical restraints. 

Obesity and Associated Risks

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Diabetes had the strongest association with obesity, and urinary incontinence was the second most strongly associated variable. The risk of obesity was negatively associated with care dependency and age of the nursing home patients.

In summary, many health problems in nursing home patients were variably significantly associated with either obesity or non-obesity. Healthcare teams in nursing homes should monitor the nutritional status of patients and ensure a healthy weight while preserving muscle mass so as to prevent any health complications.

Source:

Bauer, S., Eglseer, D., & Großschädl, F. (2023). Obesity in Nursing Home Patients: Association with Common Care Problems. Nutrients, 15(14), 3188. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15143188