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The Rate of Older Californians Dying of Malnutrition Has Accelerated

California Healthline
| Published April 12, 2023

A growing number of California’s oldest residents are dying of malnutrition, a yearslong trend that accelerated during the covid pandemic.

Deaths attributed to malnutrition more than doubled, from about 650 in 2018 to roughly 1,400 in 2022, according to preliminary death certificate data from the California Department of Public Health. The same trend occurred nationwide, with malnutrition deaths more than doubling, from about 9,300 deaths in 2018 to roughly 20,500 in 2022, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“For a lot of people who are older adults and people with disabilities, it’s not really over,” said Trinh Phan, who works from California for the nonprofit Justice in Aging. Phan said many older Californians are afraid of covid, asking themselves, “Do I actually want to risk that for myself given my own risk factors?”

Featured Staff

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