Answer to adult nutritional deficiencies
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
Malnutrition, which is defined as any nutritional deficit, is largely under-recognized and under-treated. Nutrient imbalance, whether malnourishment or over-nutrition, poses a real threat to patients wellbeing. Under-nutrition impacts physical health, daily function, independence and recovery from illness, injury, and surgery. It increases length of hospital stay, healthcare costs, and chances of re-admission.
Four out of ten cases among hospitalized Filipino patients and out-patients are at risk of under-nutrition; a common condition that goes beyond being underweight. Food intake is, most often, limited by illness or injury which increases risk of mortality. The body has higher nutritional needs in times when sickness or injury strikes. This risk of undernourishment among Pinoys increases with age.
Insufficient protein intake can worsen loss of lean body mass which delays recovery and impedes rehabilitation. Sarcopenia, or muscle wasting, happens between the ages of 30-40 years old. The decreased mass can be alleviated with vitamin D4 and nutritional supplementation. Nutrients are needed for recovery, build energy and strength, to return to a normal life. Under-nutrition risk screening is the first and crucial step in fighting malnutrition.
“If proper dietary intake is not successful, oral nutrition supplementation (ONS) must be the next course of action. Though they look like milk powder, they are not dairy products but are complete meals. They’re thickened, with fiber, calorically-dense, and high in protein. Supplements are beneficial. Though you need to monitor them regularly if they’re good or not. Compliance is very important,” pointed out Dr. Jean-Pierre Michel, past president of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS), during an intimate lecture presentation with media attendees.
The “Impact of Oral Nutritional Supplementation on Hospital Outcomes” study is a retrospective data analyses on the effect of ONS on hospital economic outcomes. The study compared hospital stays where ONS were provided with similar hospital stays that did not provide ONS. The difference between length of stay and cost of treatment (including supplies, labor, depreciation of equipment, etc.) were measured. The probability of 30-day hospital re-admission was also calculated.
“In an increasingly cost-pressured environment, health economics assessments can more comprehensively determine a therapy’s true value. Our results point to the tangible benefits of in-patient ONS on health outcomes and cost of care, factors that impact a hospital’s bottom line,” said study co-author Darius Lakdawalla, Ph.D., Quinteles chair in pharmaceutical development and regulatory innovation at the University of Chicago school of pharmacy.
The retrospective analyses utilized information from more than one million adult in-patient cases found in the Premier research database from the years 2000 through 2010, maintained by the Premier healthcare alliance; representing a total of 44 million hospital episodes from across the United States or approximately 20 per cent of all in-patient admissions in the US. The full sample consisted of adults (18 years or older) and focused on oral feeding interventions only. The matched sample ultimately included 1,160,088 total episodes (with half the episodes on ONS at 558,044 and the non-ONS episodes filling the other half). Propensity score matching and instrumental variables were used to address potential bias due to non-random selection.
“Because ONS are formulated to provide advanced nutrition and calories for compromised patients and are relatively inexpensive to provide, the sizeable savings they generate make supplementation a cost-effective therapy,” shared study co-author Thomas Philipson, PH.D., Daniel Levin chair of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
For more than 85 years, Abbott Nutrition has been developing and marketing science-based nutritional products to support the growth, health and wellness of people of all ages. Internationally recognized brands include the Similac label of infant formulas, the Gain line of growing-up milks, the PediaSure range of complete and balanced nutrition for children, and the Ensure brand of complete and balanced oral nutritional supplements for adults.
The company is a leader in nutritional products clinically shown to address the distinct dietary needs of people with serious health conditions or special nutrient requirements, such as the Glucerna brand of nutrition shakes and bars for people with diabetes.
Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, the company serves people in more than 159 countries including the Philippines.
“We turn science into caring. We screen for under-nutrition risk. We partnered with PhilSPEN (Philippine Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) through our under-nutrition risk screening survey. Then intervene with appropriate nutrition therapy including ONS. We also prescribe nutrition planning and tracking of meal plans. Over 2,200 patients in more than 20 international clinical studies have shown the clinical benefits of Ensure because it is lactose-free, gluten-free and made only of soy and protein. When you’re sick, you still need to move about. Immobility, even with some food intake, makes patients weaker and fatter,” apprized Abbott medical director Dr. Rodolfo Dimaano Jr., during the open forum.
For more information, simply visit the company Web site, www.abbott.com and/or connect with its social network site on Twitter at @AbbottNews.