Scientific article

Refrigerator content and hospital admission in old people

Published inLancet, vol. 356, 356
Publication date2000

We assessed whether the refrigerator contents of elderly people could be related to subsequent admission to hospital. 132 patients aged over 65 years had a thorough assessment of their refrigerator contents and the numbers and dates of admission were recorded. Elderly people with empty refrigerators were more frequently admitted (p=0.032) in the month after assessment and three times sooner than those who did not have empty refrigerators (34 vs 100 days, p=0.002). How full is your refrigerator? According to Nadir Boumendjel and colleagues, the contents of an elderly person's refrigerator may be an indicator of imminent hospital admission. During 11 months, the researchers looked at the refrigerator's content in the homes of 132 people older than 65 years who had been discharged from hospital at least 1 month previously. Elderly people were more likely to be admitted to hospital in the month after assessment if their refrigerator was empty (fewer than three different food items), and were admitted sooner than those with a full refrigerator (about 1 month {vs} over 3 months). Quantity of food, not quality of food, was related to admission. Boumendjel and colleagues concluded that an empty refrigerator may suggest malnutrition in the elderly; therefore, early detection and preventive measures should be taken to avert the consequences of geriatric undernourishment.

  • Alimentation
  • Gériatrie
  • Hospitalisation
  • Médecine
  • Santé
Citation (ISO format)
BOUMENDJEL, Nadir et al. Refrigerator content and hospital admission in old people. In: Lancet, 2000, vol. 356, p. 356.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:1525
ISSN of the journal0140-6736

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