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Nutritional status of patients in a long-stay hospital for people with mental handicap.
S Afr Med J. 2000 Nov; 90(11):1135-40.SA

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the general nutritional status of patients in Alexandra Hospital, Cape Town, and to determine whether dietary copper deficiency was causing anaemia in hospital patients.

DESIGN

Descriptive and cross-sectional analytical studies.

SETTING

A long-stay hospital for people with mental handicap.

SUBJECTS

Information was obtained from the total hospital population. In addition, groups of 15 patients were selected from each of two specific wards, one with active and the other inactive patients. To determine whether copper deficiency was causing anaemia, a sample of 30 patients, divided into three groups (a hypochromic microcytic, a normochromic anaemic and a non-anaemic group) was studied.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Body mass indices (BMI) and daily dietary intakes were compared with Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) values. Serum copper and serum caeruloplasmin levels were used to detect possible copper deficiency.

RESULTS

A considerable number of patients were found to be underweight (32% of males and 26% of females had BMIs < 20). A smaller number were obese (6% of males and 17% of females had BMIs > 30). Poor nutrition was more common in severely handicapped patients and those with acquired causes of their mental handicap. Subjects with Down syndrome were generally well nourished and occasionally obese. Poor dietary intakes of biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin D and copper were encountered. The serum copper and caeruloplasmin values were found to be within normal limits. Patients with hypochromic, microcytic anaemia had higher serum copper and caeruloplasmin levels than those with normochromic anaemia and the control group.

CONCLUSIONS

A number of nutritional problems among the inpatient population were found. Many were undernourished, while a smaller number of patients were overweight. In both the active and inactive wards macronutrient intakes were generally within normal limits. However, some micronutrient nutritional deficiencies were encountered. We were unable to establish that dietary copper deficiency was the cause of anaemia in our patients. Elevated serum copper and caeruloplasmin levels found in hypochromic, microcytic patients were thought to result from the existence of low-grade infection, associated with elevation of the acute-phase protein, caeruloplasmin.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cape Town.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

11196037

Citation

Molteno, C, et al. "Nutritional Status of Patients in a Long-stay Hospital for People With Mental Handicap." South African Medical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde, vol. 90, no. 11, 2000, pp. 1135-40.
Molteno C, Smit I, Mills J, et al. Nutritional status of patients in a long-stay hospital for people with mental handicap. S Afr Med J. 2000;90(11):1135-40.
Molteno, C., Smit, I., Mills, J., & Huskisson, J. (2000). Nutritional status of patients in a long-stay hospital for people with mental handicap. South African Medical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde, 90(11), 1135-40.
Molteno C, et al. Nutritional Status of Patients in a Long-stay Hospital for People With Mental Handicap. S Afr Med J. 2000;90(11):1135-40. PubMed PMID: 11196037.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Nutritional status of patients in a long-stay hospital for people with mental handicap. AU - Molteno,C, AU - Smit,I, AU - Mills,J, AU - Huskisson,J, PY - 2001/2/24/pubmed PY - 2001/3/3/medline PY - 2001/2/24/entrez SP - 1135 EP - 40 JF - South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde JO - S Afr Med J VL - 90 IS - 11 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To investigate the general nutritional status of patients in Alexandra Hospital, Cape Town, and to determine whether dietary copper deficiency was causing anaemia in hospital patients. DESIGN: Descriptive and cross-sectional analytical studies. SETTING: A long-stay hospital for people with mental handicap. SUBJECTS: Information was obtained from the total hospital population. In addition, groups of 15 patients were selected from each of two specific wards, one with active and the other inactive patients. To determine whether copper deficiency was causing anaemia, a sample of 30 patients, divided into three groups (a hypochromic microcytic, a normochromic anaemic and a non-anaemic group) was studied. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Body mass indices (BMI) and daily dietary intakes were compared with Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) values. Serum copper and serum caeruloplasmin levels were used to detect possible copper deficiency. RESULTS: A considerable number of patients were found to be underweight (32% of males and 26% of females had BMIs < 20). A smaller number were obese (6% of males and 17% of females had BMIs > 30). Poor nutrition was more common in severely handicapped patients and those with acquired causes of their mental handicap. Subjects with Down syndrome were generally well nourished and occasionally obese. Poor dietary intakes of biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin D and copper were encountered. The serum copper and caeruloplasmin values were found to be within normal limits. Patients with hypochromic, microcytic anaemia had higher serum copper and caeruloplasmin levels than those with normochromic anaemia and the control group. CONCLUSIONS: A number of nutritional problems among the inpatient population were found. Many were undernourished, while a smaller number of patients were overweight. In both the active and inactive wards macronutrient intakes were generally within normal limits. However, some micronutrient nutritional deficiencies were encountered. We were unable to establish that dietary copper deficiency was the cause of anaemia in our patients. Elevated serum copper and caeruloplasmin levels found in hypochromic, microcytic patients were thought to result from the existence of low-grade infection, associated with elevation of the acute-phase protein, caeruloplasmin. SN - 0256-9574 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11196037/Nutritional_status_of_patients_in_a_long_stay_hospital_for_people_with_mental_handicap_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -