Oral Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Dietary protein may reduce hospitalisation due to infection in Māori of advanced age: LiLACS NZ  (276)

Fiona Baggett 1 , Carol Wham 1 , Ruth Teh 2 , Simon Moyes 2 , Mere Kepa 2 , Ngaire Kerse 2
  1. School of Food and Nutrition, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Aim: To investigate factors related to hospital admission for infection, examining nutrient intakes of Māori in advanced age (80+ years).

Methods: Face to face interviews with 200 Māori (85 men), in the Bay of Plenty, to obtain demographic, social and health information. Diagnoses were validated against medical records. Detailed nutritional information was collected using the 24 hour multiple-pass recall method on two separate days. FOODfiles was used to analyse nutrient intake. National Health Index (NHI) numbers were matched to hospitalisations over a two year period (12 months prior and 12 months following dietary assessment). Infection related hospitalisations were ascertained using International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes.

Results: Participants with infection related hospitalisation had a significantly lower intake of energy-adjusted protein compared to those not hospitalised (15% versus 17% respectively; p=0.009) and a marginally higher consumption of total fat (78.3 g/day vs 64 g/day; p=0.05) and monounsaturated fat (28 g/day vs 21 g/day; p=0.04). A total of 18% (n=36) of participants were hospitalised due to infection. The main type of infection was infection of the lower respiratory tract (n=25). Controlling for age, gender, NZ deprivation index, diabetes, CVD and chronic lung disease, a lower energy adjusted protein intake was independently associated with hospitalisation due to infection (OR (95% CI) 1.14 (1.00-1.29), p=0.046.

Conclusions: Protein intake may have a protective effect on the nutrition related morbidity of older Māori. Improving dietary protein intake is a simple strategy to decrease risk.

Funding source(s): HRC and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.