Armenia, a republic of the former Soviet Union, currently suffers from hyperinflation of its currency, a five-year country-wide blockade, and a war with Azerbaijan.
Pensioners 60 years of age or older may be at high risk for significant nutritional deficits.
We drew a stratified systematic sample (with a random starting point) of 456 pensioner names from all eight administrative regions in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
We administered a questionnaire that gathered data including self-reported weight and height, demographic characteristics, living conditions, medical and dietary history, income, and aid received from various sources.
The survey yielded 381 of 456 (84%) completed interviews. Ninety-one percent reported their diet had gotten worse during the past six months, including less variety (83%) and quantity (85%) of food. Seventy-six percent reported they did not have enough money to buy food, and 91% had cut the size of their meals or skipped meals. Forty-five percent reported a weight loss of > or = 5 kg in the previous year.
After we adjusted for potential confounders, weight loss of > or = 5 kg was associated with illness affecting eating (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.2, 95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.4, 3.4), not having received aid (adjusted OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.1, 4.1), and cutting the size of or skipping meals (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.1, 6.7).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)