Association Between Malnutrition and Depression Among Community-Dwelling Older Chinese Adults

Junmin Wei, Linlin Fan, Yuhui Zhang, Shirley Li, Jamie Partridge, Ling Claytor, Suela Sulo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Malnutrition and depression are of important concern among older adults. We investigated the association between malnutrition and depression among community-dwelling older Chinese adults and how both affect health care costs. Data from 4916 older adults (age ≥60 years) collected as part of 2013-Wave II China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) survey were analyzed. Measures of body mass index and weight loss were used as indicators of malnutrition. Malnourished subjects were 31% more likely to be depressed than their non-malnourished counterparts (odds ratio = 1.311, P <.1). Health care–related cost was ¥591.8 higher for malnourished older adult per year compared to a non-malnourished counterpart (P <.1), thus confirming that incidence of depression coupled with malnutrition significantly increases health care–related costs. These results highlight the importance of malnutrition and depression screening and treatment for older Chinese community-dwelling adults, and the importance of community-based nutrition-specific programs that could address the needs of the affected populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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