To investigate differences in health behaviors, nutritional status, and the likelihood of having cardiovascular diseases and its risk factors according to the presence of an eating companion in older women.
Using 2016 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey VII-1 data, 590 menopausal women aged ≥65 years were analyzed in this cross-sectional study. Participants who ate more than two meals a day alone were assigned to an eating-alone (EA) group and those who ate more than two meals a day with others were assigned to an eating-with-others (EO) group. Complex-samples general linear analysis, t tests, and logistic regression were used for the analysis of the data.
Awareness of nutrition labels (P = 0.012), using of nutrition labels (P = 0.014), and impact of nutrition labels (P = 0.016) were lower in the EA group than in the EO group. The intake of energy, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sodium, and potassium was lower in the EA group than in the EO group (P < 0.05). The likelihood of having angina was 2.58 times higher in the EA group than in the EO group (95% CI, 1.20-5.55).
Older women who ate alone had poorer nutritional knowledge and intake. In addition, eating alone in older women was strongly associated with the prevalence of angina. Thus, it is necessary to consider nutrition education and cardiovascular disease screening for older women who mainly eat alone.