A study was conducted to determine the nutritional status of the free-living elderly population in Vancouver. The response rate of the sample was low. Dietary information from 104 single men and women and 23 couples was collected by the 24-hour recall method. Biochemical tests in 56 single individuals and 13 couples included measurement of hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit, plasma analysis for concentrations of total protein, iron, carotene, vitamin A, ascorbic acid, vitamin E and cholesterol and for transferrin saturation, and urine analysis for concentrations of creatinine, thiamin, riboflavin and N(1)-methylnicotinamide.Mean energy intakes were considerably below the Dietary Standard for Canada. However, mean intakes of individual nutrients were similar to or in excess of the Dietary Standard for Canada for single men and women and for married men. Married women had low average intakes of calcium, iron, thiamin and riboflavin but adequate intakes of other nutrients. Mean values for biochemical variables were within the accepted range as defined by the Interdepartmental Committee of Nutrition for National Defense in the United States. According to the Nutrition Canada definitions of "high risk" there were no individuals in high-risk categories for any biochemical variable except plasma cholesterol concentration and transferrin saturation. The dietary and biochemical data indicated that the nutritional status in this select group of elderly persons was good except for intake of total energy and, in married women, of calcium, iron, thiamin and riboflavin.
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