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Acta Chir Scand. 1977;143(3):145-9.

Energy and protein intake in elderly patients in an orthopedic surgical ward.


A study was made during a 3-month period of the food intake of all patients older than 60 years, who were admitted to a ward of acute orthopedic surgery. This amounted to 31 women and 15 men, whose average age was 74 years. Each patient's diet was studied for 16 days on an average. The mean daily energy intake was 1 163+/-341 kcal (4 868 +/- 1 427 kJ) for women and 1 558+/-539 kcal (6 521+/-2 856 kJ) for men. 44 of 46 patients received fewer calories than is recommended for healthy persons the same age, and 25 of 46 patients consumed less calories per day than the basal metabolism. The mean daily protein intake was 0.7+/-0.3 g/kg/day for both men and women. 28 of the patients received less than 0.8 g/kg/day which is the amount of protein recommended healthy adults and none of our patients received 1.5 g protein/kg/day, the protein intake recommended patients in hospital. The low protein intake was due to a poor intake of energy as well as a high consumption of refreshing drinks and titbits, both a little nourishment.

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