Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of major chronic diseases related to daily oral water intake and to identify
the physiological parameters related to dehydration in Korean elderly. Methods: The data were collected from the sixth Korea
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KHANES), which was a nationwide and cross-sectional survey in 2015. We analyzed 1,392
participants using t-test and logistic regression. All participants were divided into the adequate water intake (AWI) group and the
non-adequate water intake (NAWI) group based on the dietary reference intakes for Koreans. Results: There was a significant difference
in the water intake between the AWI (6.8 cups in a day) and NAWI (2.8 cups) groups (p<.001). There was no statistically significant
association between the level of water intake and any of the major chronic diseases. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and BUN/Creatinine
(Cr) ratio were significantly higher in the NAWI group. Especially, BUN/Cr ratio shows that the NAWI group reached dehydration
status. Older age (adjusted odd ratio, OR=1.07, 95% confidence interval, CI [1.04-1.10]), female gender (adjusted OR=1.56, 95% CI
[1.05-2.33]), lower body mass index (BMI) (adjusted OR=1.00, 95% CI [0.92-1.00]), higher BUN (adjusted OR=1.04, 95% CI [1.01-
1.08]), and higher urine specific gravity (USG) (adjusted OR=1.56, 95% CI [1.19-2.05]) were factors associated with the NAWI group.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that the level of water intake needs to be considered in relation to age, gender, BMI, BUN, and USG.
These are sensitive physiological parameters used for predicting dehydration of the elderly according to their daily oral water intake.
It would be helpful to develop strategies to prevent dehydration in elderly individuals and enhance their water intake.