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Nursing issues
Low intake of vitamins B6, C, E and folate from dietary sources may lead to a higher risk of developing frailty in older adults
  1. Jane Fletcher
  1. Nutrition Nurses, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Jane Fletcher, Nutrition Nurses, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK; jane.fletcher{at}

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Commentary on: Balboa-Castillo R, Struijk EA, Lopez-Garcia E et al. Low vitamin intake is associated with risk of frailty in older adults. Age and Ageing 2018;47(6):872–879.

Implications for practice and research

  • Healthcare professionals should be mindful of the impact that a poor diet has on function and outcomes in older adults.

  • Basic questions about dietary intake allow nurses to identify areas of concern.

  • Future research should consider the essential role of the nurse in detecting nutritional deficiencies.


There is growing evidence that inadequate nutrition is a determining factor in the development of frailty among older adults, both in terms of the quantity of calories consumed and the quality of nutrients taken.1 Frailty leads to reduced quality of life, loss of function and independence, and increased morbidity and mortality. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.