»Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper«, 15/12/11
More seniors suffer from malnourishment than ever before
According to the German health insurer DAK, the number of seniors who have to be treated in hospital for malnourishment is on the increase. Analysis carried out on DAK data has showed that in 2008, doctors received 354 seniors in Hamburg hospitals with malnourishment compared to 604 in 2010. This represents an increase of 70.6 percent. The average age of these patients in 2010 was 74 years. In a nationwide comparison, figures have risen by 53 percent over the last two years. In 2010 the DAK recorded 17,091 cases of malnourishment requiring hospitalization, compared to 11,173 in 2008. The average age was 70 years.
The DAK claims that in most cases a protein or vitamin deficiency could be determined. The malnutrition mostly became apparent in clinics through the treatment of other illnesses such as diabetes or femoral bone fractures.
The German Senior Citizens League (DSL) estimate that almost every twelfth person over the age of 60 suffers from chronic malnourishment. If essential vitamins, protein (amino acids), trace elements and minerals are lacking, there is a threat of serious illnesses due to general weakness and metabolistic disorders. “Whoever loses a significant amount of weight and is considerably weaker as a result should seek medical attention” advised DAK expert Peter Rowohlt. DAK recommends diets to be high in whole milk and dairy products, potatoes, vegetables, fruit and whole-grain products as well as fish and meat.