Early nutritional supplementation immediately after diagnosis of infectious disease improves body weight in psychogeriatric nursing home residents
Background and aims: Many elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease experience weight loss. Illness and inadequate regain after a period of illness are considered as contributory causes of progressive weight loss in psychogeriatric patients. We studied whether early use of a liquid nutrition supplement immediately after onset of acute illness from infection can prevent weight loss in elderly psychogeriatric nursing home residents. Methods: Randomised controlled trial of 5 weeks after the onset of illness. Thirty-four psychogeriatric nursing home residents (aged ±65 yrs) completed the study period. A liquid nutrition supplement (200 ml) once daily immediately after diagnosis of infection or standard treatment (enriched food after referral to a dietician) were provided. Body weight, mid-upper arm circumference, calf circumference, triceps skin fold thickness, dietary energy intake, and need for care were measured. Results: Weight change during the study period was significantly different between the standard (−0.4 kg) and supplement (+0.8 kg) groups (p=0.040). No significant differences were observed in changes of midupper arm circumference, triceps skin fold thickness, calf circumference or energy intake between groups. Conclusions: Early provision of a liquid nutrition supplement immediately after onset of acute illness from infection leads to weight gain in elderly psychogeriatric nursing home residents.
KeywordsBody weight elderly nutritional supplementation psychogeriatric
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