Consequences Of Undernutrition
In elderly people, weight loss and undernutrition affect functional and cognitive abilities, and the immune response (Chandra). This may result in serious complications including difficulty in swallowing, dehydration, and pressure ulcers. Poor nutritional status also leads to decreased lean body mass, and lessened muscular strength and aerobic capacity. These changes contribute to a state of chronic fatigue, as well as alterations in gait and balance, which increase the probability of falls and fractures. For many older people, this sequence of events leads to a deterioration in their overall quality of life, causing the affected individual to become increasingly dependent on others. The ultimate cost to the individual and society is great.
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