Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 70–74 | Cite as

Early nutritional supplementation immediately after diagnosis of infectious disease improves body weight in psychogeriatric nursing home residents

  • Wendeline Wouters-Wesseling
  • Erika Slump
  • Chantai N. Kleijer
  • Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot
  • Wija A. van Staveren
Original Article


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.


Body weight elderly nutritional supplementation psychogeriatric 


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Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendeline Wouters-Wesseling
    • 1
  • Erika Slump
    • 2
  • Chantai N. Kleijer
    • 3
  • Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot
    • 4
  • Wija A. van Staveren
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Nutrition ResearchNumico ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.KVV FoundationThe HagueThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Nutricia, ZoetermeerThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Human Nutrition and EpidemiologyWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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