County-Level Characteristics Driving Malnutrition Death Rates among Older Adults in Texas

C. D. Bergeron, J. M. John, M. Sribhashyam, G. Odonkor, O. Oloruntoba, A. L. Merianos, S. Horel, Matthew Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aims to identify older adult malnutrition in Texas, examine county-level characteristics associated with crude malnutrition death rates, and describe assets and opportunities available to address and improve malnutrition among the older population. Design: Secondary data analysis using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER online database, the U.S. Census 2014–2018 American Community Survey, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Access Research Atlas data. Setting: All 254 counties in the state of Texas. Participants: Individuals aged 65 years and older. Measurement: The dependent variable was the proportion of county-level malnutrition crude death rates. Independent variables included Health Provider Shortage Area designations, rurality, poverty status, food access, age, race, ethnicity, and education. Results: The overall malnutrition crude death rate in Texas was 65.6 deaths per 100,000 older Texans, ranging from 0 to 414.46 deaths per 100,000 depending on the county. Higher malnutrition crude death rates were associated with non-metropolitan counties (P=0.018), lower education (P=0.047), greater household poverty (P=0.010), and low food access (P<0.001). Conclusion: Socioeconomic disadvantages at the county-level appear to be one of the root causes of malnutrition crude death rates in Texas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-868
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Malnutrition
  • Texas
  • assets
  • death rates
  • older population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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