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  1. Skates, Janet J. MS, RD, LND, CNSD, FADA
  2. Anthony, Patricia MS, RD


Malnutrition, a problem being more commonly recognized among aging populations, is closely related to increased morbidity and mortality. It may develop slowly from progressive undernutrition rooted in the effects of multiple diseases, physiological decline, and psychosocial changes that can occur with aging. Each cause has a specific treatment. The challenge is to identify those who are at risk of malnutrition so that targeted intervention can begin early. This article describes the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), a malnutrition assessment instrument specifically developed for elderly persons. The authors detail the development and extensive validation process of the MNA and its use in clinical practice. They also discuss the advantages and limitations of using the MNA and offer suggestions for its expanded use in the future