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Age Ageing. 2003 May;32(3):321-5.

Prevention of malnutrition in older people during and after hospitalisation: results from a randomised controlled clinical trial.

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Service de gériatrie CHR Citadelle, Liège, Belgium.



to prevent the occurrence of weight loss during hospitalisation and following discharge by daily oral supplementation.


in a prospective, randomised, controlled study of 80 patients aged 75 or more, and at risk of undernutrition based on their initial Mini Nutritional Assessment score, patients were randomised into a control group or one receiving oral supplementation. The intervention was a prescription of 200 ml sweet or salty sip feed twice daily (500 kcal, 21 g protein per day) throughout hospitalisation and convalescence. Nutritional status was assessed at baseline and after 2 months using Mini Nutritional Assessment and body weight record.


compliance with oral supplementation was good and daily extra energy intake was 407+/-184 kcal. On day 60, significant weight loss from upon admission was observed in the control group (-1.23+/-2.5 kg; P=0.01), but not in the supplemented group (0.28+/-3.8 kg; NS). At the end of the study, Mini Nutritional Assessment scores were higher in the supplemented group than in the control group (23.5+/-3.9 versus 20.8+/-3.6; P<0.01).


use of daily oral supplementation during and after hospitalisation maintains body weight and increases Mini Nutritional Assessment score in patients at risk of undernutrition.

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