INTRODUCTION Population ageing is a main concern under the biosanitary point of view. AIM To assess the nutritional status of people 65 year-old and older in Cantabria (Spain) METHOD A total of 1605 persons were studied by means of the MNA (Mini Nutritional Assessment); a) by primary care (59.9% in the unit, and 4.7% at home) and, b) in nursing homes (35.4%). RESULTS Nutritional score (NS) was 23.4 ± 4.1 for women and 24.4 ± 4 in males (p < 0.001). We emphasize the fact that 22.3% of people studied in the nursing homes were malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, compared with 14.2% of those studied at the unit, and only 3.3% of the home visited elders. The correlation between the value of the NS and the subjective estimation of nutrition status showed a high value (0.65). We emphasize the negative correlation (-0.53) between BNI value and the incidence of skin lesions. CONCLUSION Our results highlight the importance of identifying malnutrition or its risk in elders in order to prevent the negative consequences of this deficiency.