Nutritional intake in both free-living and institutionalized older adults with xerostomia

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A common problem in the institutionalized as well as the free-living elderly is inadequate nutrition. This problem will continue in significance as, the population continues to age. Previous studies have indicated a variety of nutritional deficiencies in the diets of older adults. Chronic degenerative diseases and usage of multiple pharmacologic agents are also prevalent in the geriatric population and confound this complex problem. A common observation among the many contributing factors to the problem of relative or absolute malnutrition in seniors is that many individuals exhibit the sign/symptom of xerostomia (dry mouth). Recent studies indicate that nearly one in five older adults exhibit xerostomia. Xerostomia increases the difficulty of these older adults in obtaining the proper nutrition. Problems in lubricating, masticating, tolerating, tasting and swallowing food contribute significantly to the complex physiological and psychological manifestations of aging. To this date the literature fails to demonstrate an association between xerostomia and malnutrition in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Nutrition for the Elderly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 17 1991


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