OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to verify the association between the degree of risk of dysphagia and nutritional risk of elderly inpatients at the medical clinic of Brasília´s University Hospital.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional, analytic, original, observational, uncontrolled study with convenience and stratified sample. The Mini Nutritional Assessment and a questionnaire to assess risk of dysphagia were administered to 49 elderly patients within the first 48 hours after admission to the medical clinic, in September 2006.
RESULTS: Most of the elderly inpatients aged from 60 to 74 years and 11 months (78%) with a mean age of 69 years; 41% were females and 59% were males. Sixty-nine percent of the elderly inpatients were at risk of dysphagia and 71% presented inadequate nutritional status, especially women. Both males (20.5, standard deviation= 5) and females (19, standard deviation= 6) were at nutritional risk. The study showed that women are more likely to develop dysphagia yet men presented a higher degree of risk (moderate risk). There is a moderate negative correlation between the values obtained for the risk of dysphagia and their respective Mini Nutritional Assessment scores.
CONCLUSION: This study verified that two factors aggravate the quality of life of the elderly: their nutritional status and dysphagia. Both can worsen dramatically during hospitalization.
Indexing terms: Nutrition assessment. Malnutrition. Aged. Deglutition disorders.