Nutritional Status among Rural Community Elderly in the Risk Area of Liver Fluke, Surin Province, Thailand


Thailand is becoming an aging society, this presenting as a serious problem situation especially regarding health. Chronic diseases found frequently in the elderly may be related to dietary intake and life style. Surin province has been reported as a risk area for liver fluke with a high incidence of cholangiocarcinma especially in the elderly. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the nutritional status and associated factors among elderly in Surin province, northeast of Thailand. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 405 people aged 60 years and above, between September 2012 and July 2014. The participants were selected through a randomized systematic sampling method and completed a pre-designed questionnaire with general information, food recorded, weight, height, waist circumference, and behavior regarding to food consume related to liver fluke infection. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients. The majority of participants was female (63.5%), age between 60-70 years old (75.6%), with elementary school education (96.6%), living with their (78.9%), and having underlying diseases (38.3%). Carbohydrate (95.3%) was need to improve the consumption. The participants demonstrated under nutrition (24.4%), over-nutrition (16.4%), and obesity (15.4%). Elderly had a waist circumference as the higher than normal level (34.0%). Gender, female, age 71-80 years old, elementary school and underlying diseases were significantly associated with poor nutritional status. The majority of them had a high knowledge (43.0%), moderate attitude (44.4%), and moderate practice (46.2%) regarding food consumption related to liver fluke infection. In conclusion, these findings data indicated that elderly age group often have an under- or over nutritional status. Carbohydrate consumption needs to be improved. Some elderly show behavior regarding food consumption that is related to liver fluke infection hat needs to be improved, so that health education pertaining good nutrition is required.