Dementia and Nutrition. Intervention study in institutionalized patients with Alzheimer disease.J Nutr Health Aging 2003; 7(5):304-8JN
To know nutritional status of a group of institutionalized patients with moderate Alzheimer's Disease (AD), and to ascertain the effects of an intervention with nutritional supplements on morbidity and mortality after one year follow-up.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
99 patients (mean age: 86.5 years), 80 women, with a diagnosis of AD according with NINCDS/ADRDA criteria, were recruited from 8 nursing-homes. 25 were included in an intervention group and received a nutritional supplements along 12 months. Evolution was evaluated according to the Functional Assessment Staging Test (FAST). Patients with FAST levels 5-6 were included. General clinical variables as well as variables reflecting cognitive state and nutritional status: anthropometric, biochemical data and Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) were analysed. Statistical analysis was carry out with the SPSS 10.0 package.
Mean time since diagnosis was 49 months, with a 20.2 months duration of institutionalization. Mean value of MNA was 20.1 3.5. 16.5% of patients had a BMI equal o lower than 21. After one year the intervention group showed higher levels of albumin (P=05), pre-albumin (P=05), iron (P=01), zinc (P=05), and beta-carotene (P=05) than the control group. The same response in BMI (P=05), MNA (P=05), and triceps skinfold (P=01). Mortality was lower (16% vs. 22.7%), without statistical significance, in the intervention group, as it was the number of infectious events (47% vs. 66% P=05), and the days in bed (7.5 2.1 vs. 17.3 5.6 P=05).
Nutritional supplements applied to a group of patients with AD living in nursing-homes can reduce morbidity and mortality after one year follow-up.