Purpose: Frailty is a clinical syndrome in older adults, and adequate nutrition is a modifiable factor in preventing the condition. The current study aims to investigate the association between frailty and dietary intake in the Korean elderly. Methods: This cross-sectional study included data from the 2018 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 1,268 subjects (535 men and 733 women) aged 65 years or older. Frailty was defined as having more than three of the following 5 modified Fried frailty phenotype criteria: unintentional weight loss, exhaustion, walking difficulties, weakness, and low physical activity. Dietary intake was assessed by applying the one-day 24-hour dietary recall. The association between frailty and dietary intakes were analyzed by multiple logistic regression. Results: Totally, 9.7% men and 21.9% women were classified as the frail group. Increasing levels of frailty were proportional to a decreased mean nutrient adequacy ratio in both genders. Moreover, the total food intake was significantly low in the frail elderly. In male subjects, multiple logistic regression analyses after adjusting covariates showed that the odds ratio (OR) of frailty in the highest tertile of the consumption of fruits (OR [95% confidence interval, CI] = 0.34 [0.13-0.93], p-trend = 0.021) were significantly lower than values obtained in the lowest tertile. In females, the highest tertile of fish and shellfish intake showed a significantly lower OR for frailty (OR [95% CI] = 0.55 [0.30-0.99], p-trend = 0.045), as compared with the lowest tertile. Conclusion: The present study indicates that high intake of fruits for men, and fish and shellfish for women, are probably linked with lowering the risk of frailty in the elderly.
- food intake