Depression and Hardiness and their Association with Appetite in Older Adults
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Poor appetite is common among older adults, and is influenced by factors including chronic disease and depression. The aim of this research is to examine the associations of hardiness (defined as the ability to manage stress), depression, and emotional well-being with appetite in older adults. A survey evaluating hardiness, depression and appetite was administered to 292 adults (60 years and older), at assisted-living facilities or senior centers in the Washington D.C. area. In univariate models, depression, hardiness, and emotional well-being are associated with appetite. In multivariate models, fair/poor emotional well-being increases risk for poor appetite (OR=5.60, 95% CI= 2.60-12.07) and commitment (a dimension of hardiness - which indicates an individual's involvement in life) is associated with appetite (OR=1.35, 95% CI= 1.13-1.61). These variables maintained the strongest associations with appetite in multivariate models. These associations further elucidate the components of mental health which contribute to poor appetite in this population.