Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Four questions that may save your grandma’s life: SNAQ screening tool predicts weight loss

14.12.2005


New Saint Louis University study validates first questionnaire of its kind



A four-question screening tool can predict which older patients with appetite problems are likely to lose weight, placing them at greater risk of death, according to Saint Louis University research.

The questionnaire is called the SNAQ (pronounced snack), the Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire, and takes less than two minutes to answer.


"This tool tells us whether a poor appetite is likely to kill you. It identifies the patients who have problems with their appetite and will go on to lose weight," says Margaret-Mary Wilson, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine and geriatrics at Saint Louis University and lead author.

"The watch-and-wait approach is dangerous when it comes to weight loss in older adults. We’re dealing with a problem that can be fatal."

Wilson says that most people who are elderly find their appetite isn’t as robust as when they were younger. Their sense of taste and smell is blunted, and many older adults take multiple medications, which reduce appetite.

Chronic pain, multiple illnesses, depression and problems with dentures also make it less appealing or more difficult to eat.

Of this group of seniors with appetite problems, some will go on to lose weight, which triggers illness, frailty and potentially death.

"Weight loss is a disease we want to prevent. We can begin treatment before weight loss occurs and have an impact on outcomes. Using this tool, we can intervene before they begin to lose weight," Wilson says.

The researchers asked appetite questions of 247 nursing home residents over age 60 from nine long-term facilities in St. Louis. In addition, 868 residents from the St. Louis metropolitan area, about 40 percent of whom were at least 60, also were asked the questions.

The researchers then checked six months later to see if those who completed the questionnaire lost weight.

More than eight times out of 10, scores on the SNAQ identified those who would go on to lose 5 percent of their weight. The test was even more sensitive in predicting who would lose 10 percent of their weight, picking up the problem 88 percent of the time. The questionnaire was equally reliable for old and younger people, Wilson says.

"This is a tool that can be used in either population," Wilson says. "This could be helpful in treating younger patients with AIDS, cancer and long-term chronic diseases that put them at risk of weight loss. Using this tool, we can intervene before they begin to lose weight."

The SNAQ includes questions that rank the strength of appetite, feelings of fullness after eating, taste of food and number of meals eaten each day. A score at a certain level indicates the risk of significant weight within six months, and should spark a trip to the doctor and nutritional assessment.

"We’re advocating it is used in all geriatric patient settings," Wilson says.

"It’s such a simple tool it can even be used by families. Don’t wait for weight loss to occur. Use the SNAQ."

Nancy Solomon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.slu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>