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The Crossroads of Aging

An Intersection of Malnutrition, Frailty, and Sarcopenia

Severin, Richard, PT, DPT, CCS; Berner, Patrick M., PT, DPT, RDN; Miller, Kenneth L., PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA; Mey, Jacob, PhD, RD

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January/March 2019 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p 79–87
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000218
Pharmacology for the Older Adult: A Primer for the Fine Print

The intersectional relationship between malnutrition, frailty, and sarcopenia in older adults presents unique challenges for health care providers. Malnutrition, specifically, is a leading risk factor for disability, morbidity, and mortality in older adults. Despite improvements in screening procedures, many older adults at risk for malnutrition are not identified, which prevents effective management. Utilizing interdisciplinary approaches toward malnutrition screening is both effective and feasible. Physical therapists can play an important role in both the identification and management of malnutrition in older adults by remaining aware of common nutritional concerns in older adults and performing routine malnutrition screening.

Rehabilitation Science, Department of Physical Therapy, The University of Illinois-Chicago (Dr Severin); Department of Physical Therapy, Baylor University, Waco, Texas (Dr Severin); Fuel Physio, LLC, Taylors, South Carolina (Dr Berner); DPT Program, Touro College, Bay Shore, New York (Dr Miller); Catholic Home Care, Farmingdale, New York (Dr Miller); Integrated Physiology and Molecular Medicine, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Dr Mey); and Inflammation and Immunity, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr Mey).

Correspondence: Jacob Mey, PhD, RD, Integrated Physiology and Molecular Medicine, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 (

The authors confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication and there has been no significant financial support for this work that could have influenced its outcome.

We confirm that we have given due consideration to the protection of intellectual property associated with this work and that there are no impediments to publication, including the timing of publication, with respect to intellectual property. In so doing, we confirm that we have followed the regulations of our institutions concerning intellectual property.

We further confirm that any aspect of the work covered in this article has been conducted with the ethical approval of all relevant bodies and that such approvals are acknowledged within the article.

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