Characterisation of community-dwelling older adults with poor appetite

Scheufele P, Rappl A, Visser M, Kießwetter E, Volkert D (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


DOI: 10.1007/s00394-023-03129-5


Purpose: A poor appetite affects up to 27% of community-dwelling older adults in Europe and is an early predictor of malnutrition. Little is known about the factors associated with poor appetite. The present study, therefore, aims to characterise older adults with poor appetite. Methods: As part of the European JPI project APPETITE, data from 850 participants, aged ≥ 70 years of the Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam (LASA) from 2015/16 were analysed. Appetite during the last week was assessed with a five-point scale and dichotomised into "normal" and "poor". Binary logistic regression was used to examine associations between 25 characteristics from 5 domains—physiological, emotional, cognitive, social, and lifestyle—and appetite. First, domain-specific models were calculated using stepwise backward selection. Second, all variables contributing to poor appetite were combined in a multi-domain model. Results: The prevalence of self-reported poor appetite was 15.6%. Fourteen parameters from all five single-domain models contributed to poor appetite and were entered into the multi-domain model. Here, female sex (total prevalence: 56.1%, odds ratio: 1.95 [95% confidence interval 1.10–3.44]), self-reported chewing problems (2.4%, 5.69 [1.88–17.20]), any unintended weight loss in the last 6 months (6.7%, 3.07 [1.36–6.94]), polypharmacy defined as ≥ 5 medications in the past 2 weeks (38.4%, 1.87 [1.04–3.39]), and depressive symptoms (Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale without appetite item) (1.12 [1.04–1.21]) were associated with an increased likelihood of having poor appetite. Conclusion: According to this analysis, older people with the characteristics described above are more likely to have a poor appetite.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Scheufele, P., Rappl, A., Visser, M., Kießwetter, E., & Volkert, D. (2023). Characterisation of community-dwelling older adults with poor appetite. European Journal of Nutrition.


Scheufele, Pia, et al. "Characterisation of community-dwelling older adults with poor appetite." European Journal of Nutrition (2023).

BibTeX: Download