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BackgroundNutritional status among elderly people living in Sub-Saharan Africa is poorly studied, even though undernutrition and obesity are known to cause many complications and are risk factors for progression and death in several diseases. The aims of this study were to assess the nutritional status of the elderly in Central Africa and to study the factors associated with nutritional disorders (undernutrition and obesity).MethodsTwo cross-sectional population-based studies were carried out in the capitals of Central African Republic (CAR) and Republic of Congo (ROC) between 2008 and 2009. Participants were aged ≥65 years old and underwent nutritional assessment including the following measurements: weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC). Diet was also investigated. Nutritional status was defined according to the WHO BMI classification (<18.5 = undernutrition; ≥30 = obesity). Multinomial regression analysis was performed in order to identify factors associated with nutritional status.Results990 elderly people underwent nutritional assessment (482 in CAR and 508 in ROC). Mean BMI was 22.7 ± 4.8 kg/m2. The prevalence of undernutrition was 19.2% and was lower in ROC than in CAR (9.5% vs. 29.5%; p ConclusionsThe prevalence of undernutrition is high in the elderly population of these countries, in contrast to obesity. Undernutrition and obesity are associated with different socio-economic factors and food consumption. Simple nutritional advice could contribute to improving the nutritional status of elderly people in Central Africa.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical nutrition ESPEN

Publication Date





40 - 50


INSERM UMR1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, School of Medicine of Limoges, Limoges, France; Institute of Neuroepidemiology and Tropical Neurology, CNRS FR 3503 GEIST, University of Limoges, Limoges, France; Nutrition Unit, Centre for Severe Obesity and Expert Centre for Home Parenteral Nutrition, Dupuytren University Hospital of Limoges, Limoges, France. Electronic address:


Humans, Dementia, Malnutrition, Obesity, Body Weight, Body Mass Index, Diet, Nutrition Assessment, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Cross-Sectional Studies, Cities, Nutritional Status, Developing Countries, Socioeconomic Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Central African Republic, Congo, Female, Male, Waist Circumference