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Major dietary factors that affect the micronutrient status of older people (formerly AN0529) - AN0841

1. To link the biochemical, dietary anthropometric, health and socio-economic-lifestyle datasets, from the NDN Survey of People aged 65 years or over, into a manageable dataset, for the testing of specific hypotheses on functional and casusal interactions, in relation to micronutrient intakes and status indices. 2. To select appropriate statistical methods and computer programmes for the required analysis with advice from experts at the Dunn Nutrition Unit and elsewhere in Cambridge. 3. To apply these methods to specific, predefined questions in which diet, biochemical indices and function/health indices are explored, in relationship to specific casual hypotheses derived from known functional relationships. These will include: a) Effects of drug use, and of underlying disease status, physical and mental disabilities, stresses etc. on biochemical indices of status, and on the relationships between biochemical indices and specific nutrient intake. b) Assessment of the relative importance of non-nutrient factors on the nutrient intake: nutrient status indices, and relationships; their possible implications for dietary requirements, and the possible need for food supplements, or designer foods, or of focused status-monitoring programmes, for the high-risk groups of older people in the UK. c) The sum of this evidence will be bought to bear upon the questions: should there be separate Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for specific nutrients, for elderly people as distinct from younger adults, and it there a need for special diets and/or designer foods, formulated to enable elderly people (with declining activity levels, appetites and increasing burdens to disease and disability) to remain healthy, well nourished and in a state of optimum nutrition? 4. The first 2-3 months will be required to transfer and to sort the definitive NDNS dataset into a unable form at the DUNN Nutrition Unit, and then to select appropriate computer programmes and statistical procedures, to analyse it. The second 5-6 months will be devoted to data analysis, in order to determine and explore those relationships that can be recognised, and to put them into the context of previously published studies. The final 3-4 months will be required to prepare summary reports and publications of the findings and, if possible, to present them, at one or more open scientific meetings, to enable their implications to be discussed more widely within the scientific community, and with the policy makers at MAFF and DH.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1997

To: 1998

Cost: £31,924
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Medical Research Council