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Nutritional assessment of demented patients: a descriptive study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS

It is well-known that subclinical and overt malnutrition are strong predictive indices of morbidity and mortality in old subjects, particularly in demented ones, and may deeply affect the quality of life. The aim of this study was evaluation of nutritional status in demented patients, as a whole and according to type of dementia, at the moment of hospital admission and before discharge.

METHODS

The study concerns 174 old demented patients, aged 80.2 +/- 8 SD, diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, degenerative and vascular dementia, reversible dementia, and other types of dementia. In each subject, anthropometric measures, body composition analysis by the bioelectric impedance technique, Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and cognitive, functional and affective assessment by conventional geriatric instruments were performed. A blood sample allowed assay of the main biochemical nutritional markers. At the end of the hospitalization period, the same cognitive, functional and nutritional assessment was repeated, in order to evaluate the effects of vitamin and protein supplements and of care during meals.

RESULTS

In all subgroups of demented patients, obtained according to type of dementia, the mean MNA score was indicative of risk for malnutrition. Furthermore, the MNA score was significantly related to severe cognitive impairment, functional status, comorbidity, BMI values, and transferrin and total protein serum levels. Malnourished patients and demented elderly at risk for malnutrition (according to the MNA score) were given oral nutritional supplements during hospitalization, lasting a mean of 45 days. Before discharge, these two subtypes of demented patients showed substantial maintenance of their cognitive, functional and nutritional status, whereas the subgroup of well-nourished demented patients exhibited significant worsening of the nutritional pattern.

CONCLUSIONS

Demented patients show a high percentage of malnutrition, particularly evident in subjects with deeper cognitive impairment. Nutritional status seems to be linked more to functional abilities than to duration of disease. However, nutritional intervention or special care during meals may act in synergy with specific pharmacologic therapy of dementia.

Authors+Show Affiliations

,

Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Therapy, Chair of Geriatrics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy. flaviamagri@libero.it

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Source

MeSH

Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Dementia
Female
Geriatric Assessment
Humans
Male
Nutrition Assessment
Nutritional Status
Regression Analysis

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12889847

Citation

Magri, Flavia, et al. "Nutritional Assessment of Demented Patients: a Descriptive Study." Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 15, no. 2, 2003, pp. 148-53.
Magri F, Borza A, del Vecchio S, et al. Nutritional assessment of demented patients: a descriptive study. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2003;15(2):148-53.
Magri, F., Borza, A., del Vecchio, S., Chytiris, S., Cuzzoni, G., Busconi, L., ... Ferrari, E. (2003). Nutritional assessment of demented patients: a descriptive study. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 15(2), pp. 148-53.
Magri F, et al. Nutritional Assessment of Demented Patients: a Descriptive Study. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2003;15(2):148-53. PubMed PMID: 12889847.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Nutritional assessment of demented patients: a descriptive study. AU - Magri,Flavia, AU - Borza,Angela, AU - del Vecchio,Stefania, AU - Chytiris,Spyridon, AU - Cuzzoni,Giovanni, AU - Busconi,Lorena, AU - Rebesco,Anna, AU - Ferrari,Ettore, PY - 2003/8/2/pubmed PY - 2004/4/22/medline PY - 2003/8/2/entrez SP - 148 EP - 53 JF - Aging clinical and experimental research JO - Aging Clin Exp Res VL - 15 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND AND AIMS: It is well-known that subclinical and overt malnutrition are strong predictive indices of morbidity and mortality in old subjects, particularly in demented ones, and may deeply affect the quality of life. The aim of this study was evaluation of nutritional status in demented patients, as a whole and according to type of dementia, at the moment of hospital admission and before discharge. METHODS: The study concerns 174 old demented patients, aged 80.2 +/- 8 SD, diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, degenerative and vascular dementia, reversible dementia, and other types of dementia. In each subject, anthropometric measures, body composition analysis by the bioelectric impedance technique, Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and cognitive, functional and affective assessment by conventional geriatric instruments were performed. A blood sample allowed assay of the main biochemical nutritional markers. At the end of the hospitalization period, the same cognitive, functional and nutritional assessment was repeated, in order to evaluate the effects of vitamin and protein supplements and of care during meals. RESULTS: In all subgroups of demented patients, obtained according to type of dementia, the mean MNA score was indicative of risk for malnutrition. Furthermore, the MNA score was significantly related to severe cognitive impairment, functional status, comorbidity, BMI values, and transferrin and total protein serum levels. Malnourished patients and demented elderly at risk for malnutrition (according to the MNA score) were given oral nutritional supplements during hospitalization, lasting a mean of 45 days. Before discharge, these two subtypes of demented patients showed substantial maintenance of their cognitive, functional and nutritional status, whereas the subgroup of well-nourished demented patients exhibited significant worsening of the nutritional pattern. CONCLUSIONS: Demented patients show a high percentage of malnutrition, particularly evident in subjects with deeper cognitive impairment. Nutritional status seems to be linked more to functional abilities than to duration of disease. However, nutritional intervention or special care during meals may act in synergy with specific pharmacologic therapy of dementia. SN - 1594-0667 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12889847/Nutritional_assessment_of_demented_patients:_a_descriptive_study_ L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/dementia.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -