Published online Dec 7, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i45.6681
Peer-review started: June 10, 2019
First decision: July 21, 2019
Revised: October 24, 2019
Accepted: November 13, 2019
Article in press: November 13, 2019
Published online: December 7, 2019
Gastrointestinal (GI) discomforts are common in the elderly population; however, whether such discomforts are associated with dietary intake has not been studied.
To evaluate GI discomforts in Chinese urban elders and the associated factors.
The gastrointestinal symptom rating scale (GSRS) was used to identify GI discomforts in 688 elders from eight cities of China. The semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and one time of 24 h dietary recall were used to access the food intake, identify dietary pattern, and calculate the nutrients intake.
About 83% of studied elders experienced at least one of GI discomforts in the past 6 mo; dyspepsia was the most commonly reported (66.7%), followed by reflux (44.8%), abdominal pain (35.9%), constipation (35.8%), and diarrhea (34.7%). Female gender, lower education level, and lower family income were associated with a higher GSRS score. Participants who were diagnosed with a GI-related disease had a higher score of constipation, but a lower score of reflux. Chronic diseases were positively associated with certain GI discomforts. Three dietary patterns were identified by the method of principal component analysis, which were characterized as high intake of salt and tea; more frequent intake of tubers, fruits, aquatic products, and soybeans; and high intake of cereal, vegetables, and meat, respectively. However, no associations between dietary patterns and GSRS score were found. The elders with a higher GSRS score had significantly lower intake of bean products. The elders whose GSRS score was ≥ 21 and 18-20 decreased their bean production intake by 7.2 (0.3, 14.3) g/d and 14.3 (1.2, 27.3) g/d, respectively, compared with those who had a GSRS score ≤ 17. There were no differences in other food categories, calories, or nutrients intake among elders with different GSRS scores.
GI discomforts are common in Chinese urban elders. GI discomforts might be associated with the choice of food.
Core tip: Gastrointestinal (GI) discomforts were common in Chinese urban elders. Female gender, lower education level, and lower family income were associated more severe GI discomforts. Having a chronic disease and having a GI-related disease were associated with GI discomforts. GI discomforts were associated with the choice of food. Participants with GI discomforts had a significantly lower bean intake and marginally lower dairy product intake, which bring a potential risk of insufficient protein intake and consequently lead to the reducing of muscle.