• 1 Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, 41070 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 Centre for Healthy Aging and Wellness, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
J Nutr Metab, 2021;2021:6639935.
PMID: 33953978 DOI: 10.1155/2021/6639935


Background: Malaysia is predicted to become an ageing population by 2035. Malnutrition among the elderly is one of growing concern. This study aims to identify the prevalence of malnutrition and its associated factors among the elderly in Malaysia.

Methods: Data from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2018 was analysed. This survey applied a multistage stratified cluster sampling design to ensure national representativeness. Malnutrition was identified using a validated Mini Nutrition Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF). Variables on sociodemographic, health status, and dietary practices were also obtained. The complex sampling analysis was used to determine the prevalence and associated factors of at-risk or malnutrition among the elderly.

Result: A total of 3,977 elderly completed the MNA-SF. The prevalence of malnutrition and at-risk of malnutrition was 7.3% and 23.5%, respectively. Complex sample multiple logistic regression found that the elderly who lived in a rural area, with no formal or primary level of education, had depression, Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL) dependency, and low quality of life (QoL), were underweight, and had food insecurity and inadequate plain water intake were at a significant risk of malnutrition (malnutrition and at-risk), while Chinese, Bumiputra Sarawak, and BMI more than 25 kgm-2 were found to be protective.

Conclusions: Currently, three out of ten elderly in Malaysia were at-risk or malnutrition. The elderly in a rural area, low education level, depression, IADL dependency, low QoL, underweight, food insecurity, and inadequate plain water intake were at risk of malnutrition in Malaysia. The multiagency approach is needed to tackle the issue of malnutrition among the elderly by considering all predictors identified from this study.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.