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Identifying Malnutrition - MNA®

Weight loss in the elderly is not inevitable. Effective prevention and nutritional support exists. Early detection and prompt treatment are essential in preventing malnutrition. In those who are already malnourished, treatment may reverse malnutrition and effectively reduce mortality and complication rates. Early detection, therefore, becomes crucial in the elderly. The MNA® was specifically developed and validated to identify the elderly who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, so intervention can be started early. All persons over age 65 should be screened annually because malnutrition occurs so commonly in the elderly.

Why use MNA® as your preferred nutrition screening and assessment tool?

The MNA® is a validated tool

  • Screening tool validated specifically for the elderlyGuigoz Y, Vellas B. Assessing the nutritional status of the elderly: the Mini Nutritional Assessment as part of the geriatric evaluation. Nutr Rev 1998;54:S59-S65.
  • Highly sensitive, specificVisvanathan R, Penhall R, Chapman I. Nutritional screening of older people in a sub-acute care facility in Australia and its relation to discharge outcomes. Age Ageing 2004; 33:260-265., and reliableGuigoz Y, Vellas B. Test d'évaluation de l'etat nutritionnel de la personne âgee : le Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®) [Test to assess the nutritional status of the elderly: The Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®]. Med Hyg 1995; 53:1965-1969.Gazzotti C, Albert A, Pepinster A, Petermans J. Clinical usefulness of the mini nutritional assessment (MNA®) scale in geriatric medicine. J Nutr Health Aging 2000; 4:176-181.Bleda MJ, Bolibar I, Pares R, Salva A. Reliability of the mini nutritional assessment (MNA®) in institutionalized elderly people. J Nutr Health Aging 2002; 6:134-137.Holm B, Soderhamn O. Factors associated with nutritional status in a group of people in an early stage of dementia. Clin Nutr 2003; 22:385-389.
  • Most widely used and validated screening methodGuigoz Y. The Mini-Nutriotnal Assessmetn (MNA) review of the literature – what does it tell us? J Nutr Health Aging 2006; 10:466-487.
  • Recommended by national and international clinical and scientific organizations* Salva A, Corman B, Andrieu S, Salas J, Vellas B; International Association Of Gerontology/International Academy Of Nutrition And Aging Task Force. Minimum data set for nutritional intervention studies in elderly people. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2004;59:724-729.

The MNA® is quick and easy to use

  • Quick and easy to answer 6 short questions
  • Takes less than 5 minutes to completeSieber C. Nutritional screening tools – how does the MNA compare? Proceeding of the session held in Chicago May 2-3, 2006 (15 years of mini Nutritional Assessment). J Nutr Health Aging 2006;10:.
  • Easy to administer in wide variety of settings
  • Requires no special training
  • Requires no blood draws or labsGuigoz Y, Vellas B, Garry PJ. Mini nutritional assessment : A practical assessment tool for grading the nutritional state of elderly patients. Facts, Research in Gerontology 1994;(Suppl 2):15-59.
  • Widely available in 24 languages
As easy as MNA

The MNA® is effective

  • Targets the frail elderly and at-risk geriatric population
  • Identifies the malnourished so intervention can begin immediately
  • Identifies at-risk persons before weight loss occurs and serum protein levels fall, and facilitates earlier intervention when response is most successfulDelacorte RR, Moriguti JC, Matos FD, Pfrimer K, Marchinil JS, Ferriolli E. Mini-nutritional assessment score and the risk for undernutrition in free-living older persons. J Nutr Health Aging 2004; 8:531-534.Vellas B, Guigoz Y, Garry PJ, et al. The Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®) and its use in grading the nutritional state of elderly patients. Nutrition 1999; 15:116-122.
  • Includes criteria specific to issues of ageing – functionality, depression, dementiaVellas B, Lauque S, Gillette-Guyonnet S, Andrieu S, Cortes F, Nourhashemi F et al. Impact of nutritional status on the evolution of Alzheimer's disease and on response to acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment. J Nutr Health Aging 2005; 9:75-80.
  • Identifies at-risk persons before other validated nutrition screening tools do
  • Identifies those who may respond to treatment
  • Not only identifies people who are at nutrition risk, but allows healthcare professionals to target intervention to specific causes of malnutritionGil GP, Ramirez Diaz SP, Ribera Casado JM. Dementia and nutrition. Intervention study in institutionalized patients with Alzheimer disease. J Nutr Health Aging 2003; 7:304-308. as identified in the MNA®.
  • Predicts poor outcomes in the elderly

*Organizations recommending the MNA®

American Dietetic Association (ADA) Evidence Analysis Library
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)
European Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ESPEN)
American Medical Directors Association
The International Academy of Nutrition and Aging (IANA)
The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing
The Nurse Practitioner’s Guidelines for Long Term Care
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP)


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