Clinical and biochemical characteristics of patients with home enteral nutrition in an area of Spain.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Apr; 57(4):612-5.EJ
The widespread use of long-term enteral nutrition and the substantive costs dictate a need to study outcome, clinical and epidemiological characteristics of these patients. The aim of our study was to analyze incidence, clinical and biochemical characteristics of a cohort of patients on home enteral nutrition (HEN).
Prospective observational study.
Between January 1999 and December 2001, all adult patients living in Valladolid West area who were discharged from the hospital on HEN were prospectively studied and followed up.
Information for each patients was prospectively recorded by the dietitian of the team, and include age, sex, body mass index, tricipital skinfold, midarm circumference, underlying disease, exitus, dates of initiation and discontinuation of HEN, nutrient formula, mode of administration and complications of HEN. During HEN, physicians supervised the home patients and the patients themselves or their close relative were asked to contact our nutrition team if any problem occurred. Finally the yearly incidence of HEN was calculated each year on the basis of the estimated population in our area of recruitment, assuming almost all HEN patients were reported.
In 1999, the incidence of HEN in our area was patients 15 per 100000 inhabitants. This incidence rate rose to 21.3 in 2000 and decreased to 9.52 in 2001. The mean age of all patients was 58.7+/-13 y. The distribution of patients by diseases was: 71 (69.6%) had a head and neck cancer; 14 (13.7%) had a neurological disorder affecting swallowing (cerebrovacular accident and/or dementia); 6 (5.9%) had tumors in different locations with anorexia; and 11 (10.8%) had one of several miscellaneous diseases inducing dysphagia or anorexia. HEN was administered orally in 81 patients (79.4%), via a nasogastric tube (NGT) in 15 patients (14.7%), via a percutaneous gastrostomy (PEG) in five patients (4.9%), and via a jejunostomy in one patient (1%). The mean duration of HEN was 101+/-46.9 days. During the course of HEN, six patients had diarrhea (5.9%), and four (3.9%) constipation, and two vomiting (2%) that did not require cessation of HEN. Albumin, prealbumin, transferrin and lymphocytes improved in all the groups, when comparing the first review with the last. After the follow-up (3 y) with review, each 3 months, 10 of the 102 patients (9.8%) had died, and 92 (90.2%) were alive. Survival probability was influenced by the access route, with the worse outcome in patients with no oral nutrition (NGT, PEG and jejunostomy; hazard ratio: 24.9; 95% CI: 4.1-52), adjusted by age, sex and diagnosis.
In conclusion, HEN is a valid and safe technique for nutrition support, with a good clinical outcome in our area.