The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 351–356 | Cite as

Nutritional status according to the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®) and frailty in community dwelling older persons: A close relationship

  • Julia BollweinEmail author
  • D. Volkert
  • R. Diekmann
  • M. J. Kaiser
  • W. Uter
  • K. Vidal
  • C. C. Sieber
  • J. M. Bauer



This study investigates the association between MNA results and frailty status in community-dwelling older adults. In addition the relevance of singular MNA items and subscores in this regard was tested.


Cross-sectional study.


Community-dwelling older adults were recruited in the region of Nürnberg, Germany.


206 volunteers aged 75 years or older without cognitive impairment (Mini Mental State Examination >24 points), 66.0% female.


Frailty was defined according to Fried et al. as presence of three, pre-frailty as presence of one or two of the following criteria: weight loss, exhaustion, low physical activity, low handgrip strength and slow walking speed. Malnutrition (<17 points) and the risk of malnutrition (17–23.5 points) were determined by MNA®.


15.1% of the participants were at risk of malnutrition, no participant was malnourished. 15.5 % were frail, 39.8% pre-frail and 44.7% non-frail. 46.9% of the frail, 12.2% of the pre-frail and 2.2% of the non-frail participants were at risk of malnutrition (p<0.001). Hence, 90% of those at risk of malnutrition were either pre-frail or frail. For the anthropometric, dietary, subjective and functional, but not for the general MNA subscore, frail participants scored significantly lower than pre-frail (p<0.01), and non-frail participants (p<0.01). Twelve of the 18 MNA items were also significantly associated with frailty (p<0.05).


These results underline the close association between frailty syndrome and nutritional status in older persons. A profound understanding of the interdependency of these two geriatric concepts will represent the basis for successful treatment strategies.

Key words

Mini Nutritional Assessment MNA subscores frailty risk of malnutrition community-dwelling older adults 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Bollwein
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • D. Volkert
    • 1
  • R. Diekmann
    • 1
  • M. J. Kaiser
    • 1
  • W. Uter
    • 2
  • K. Vidal
    • 3
  • C. C. Sieber
    • 1
  • J. M. Bauer
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Biomedicine of AgingFriedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometrics und EpidemiologyFriedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany
  3. 3.Nestlé Research CenterLausanneSwitzerland
  4. 4.Geriatrics Centre OldenburgOldenburgGermany
  5. 5.Institute for Biomedicine of AgingFriedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany

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