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Grantee in the News: Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills Find Malnutrition May be a Serious Health Concern for Older Adults

Sep 11
2014

Grantee in the News: Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills Find Malnutrition May be a Serious Health Concern for Older Adults View MoreBACK

On September 11, 2014 the New York Times’ New Old Age Blog featured findings by 2014 Center of Excellence Fellow, Timothy Platts-Mills, MD, stating that as many of 60% of adults ages 65 and over seeking emergency room care may be malnourished or at risk of malnourishment.

Dr. Platts-Mills’ research follows-up on earlier findings that large percentages of older adults in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers may be suffering from malnutrition.

Malnutrition can cause serious health concerns including muscle wasting, fatigue, weakness, functional decline, risk of infections, exacerbation of chronic illness and death.  Common cause of malnutrition include, depression, dental problems that make eating difficult, problems affording and transporting food and social isolation.
Dr. Platt-Mills noted that through 60% of the patients either malnourished or at risk of malnourishment none of them has notes on their medical charts indicating this problem.  This points to a gap in medical professional training to check for signs of malnourishment.

Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina. 

Proper nutritional intake is critical to good health and it is often up to family, friends, and caretakers to ensure that older adults are maintaining a balanced diet.  Download our expert-edited InfoAging Guide on Nutrition to learn more about the science of nutrition and health aging.





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