Relationship between food insecurity and geriatric syndromes in older adults: A multicenter study in Turkey

Tari Selcuk K., Atan R. M., Arslan S., Sahin N.

Experimental Gerontology, vol.172, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 172
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.exger.2022.112054
  • Journal Name: Experimental Gerontology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Food insecurity, Frailty, Sarcopenia, Malnutrition, Older adults
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Aims: In this study, the aim was to determine the prevalence of geriatric syndromes such as frailty, sarcopenia risk and malnutrition in older adults and to investigate the relationship between food insecurity, and frailty, risk of sarcopenia and malnutrition. Methods: The study was cross-sectional. It was conducted between February 2022 and June 2022 with 707 older adults. The data were collected through the face-to-face interview method with a questionnaire including the Descriptive Information Form, Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), Frail Scale, Sarcopenia Risk Screening Scale (SARC-F) and Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF). Numbers, percentages, mean, standard deviation, Pearson chi-square test and binary logistic regression analysis were used in data analysis. Results: In the present sample, 30% of the participants experienced some degree of food insecurity. The prevalence of frailty, sarcopenia risk, and malnutrition in the participants was 15.3%, 19.5%, and 1.3%, respectively. We determined that food insecurity was not associated with pre-frailty/frailty and sarcopenia risk. After adjusment for potential counfounders moderate and severe food insecurity was associated with higher odds of malnutrition risk and malnutrition (AOR: 2.06, 95% CI: 1.21–3.51, p:0.007). Conclusion: While food insecurity is not associated with pre-frailty/frailty and sarcopenia risk, moderate and severe food insecurity is a modifiable risk factor for malnutrition risk and malnutrition. Thus, economic and social policies to eliminate food insecurity should be implemented, and efforts to prevent food insecurity should be planned through inter-sectoral cooperation.