Predictors of micronutrient status in men and women over 75 years old living in the community

Geraldine McNeill, Heather Sinclair Peace, Juliet Vyvyan, L. McKie, David Gwyn Seymour, J. Hendry, I. MacPherson

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Serum ferritin, serum vitamin B-12, erythrocyte folate, plasma vitamin C and plasma 25-hydroxycholecalciferol levels were measured in 208 men and 197 women, >75 years old and living in the community, in order to assess micronutrient status. Anthropometric measurements (height, weight, demispan and mid-upper arm circumference) were made and a 114-item questionnaire covering a wide range of health and diet-related topics was administered by an interviewer. Only 4 % of subjects had a BMI <20, but the prevalence of marginal deficiency of the micronutrients ranged from 7 % for Fe to 47 % for vitamin D. There was no association between low micronutrient status (defined as being in the lowest third of the distribution of micronutrient status) and having BMI or mid-upper arm circumference in the lowest third of the distribution for any of the nutrients. Leaving food on the plate was strongly associated with both low Fe status and low vitamin D status. Having breakfast cereal less than once per week was strongly associated with low folate status, while having fresh fruit juice less than once per week, having had less than two portions of fruits and vegetables the previous day and believing that food is not important for health were strongly associated with low vitamin C status. Low vitamin D status was strongly associated with a wide range of general health and disability measures. Having a weekly household income of less than pound150 was associated with low status of Fe, folate, vitamin C and vitamin D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • nutritional deficiency
  • anthropometric measurements
  • elderly


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