Nutritional status often deteriorates in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Less is known about whether nutritional care reverses malnutrition and its harmful consequences in AD. The aim of this study is to examine whether individualized nutritional care has an effect on weight, nutrition, health, physical functioning, and quality of life in older individuals with AD and their spouses living at home.
AD patients and their spouses (aged > 65?years) living at home (n?=?202, 102?AD patients) were recruited using central AD registers in Finland. The couples were randomized into intervention and control groups. A trained nutritionist visited intervention couples 4-8 times at their homes and the couples received tailored nutritional care. When necessary, the couples were given protein and nutrient-enriched complementary drinks. All intervention couples were advised to take vitamin D 20?µg/day. The intervention lasted for one year. The couples of the control group received a written guide on nutrition of older people. Participants in the intervention group were assessed every three months. The primary outcome measure is weight change. Secondary measures are the intake of energy, protein, and other nutrients, nutritional status, cognition, caregiver's burden, depression, health related quality of life and grip strength.
This study provides data on whether tailored nutritional care is beneficial to home-dwelling AD patients and their spouses.
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To investigate whether anthropometric and body composition variables and handgrip strength (HS) were associated with physical function and independent daily living in 88-year-old Swedish women.
A cross-sectional analysis of 83 community-dwelling women aged 88 years who were of normal weight (n=30), overweight (n=29), and obese (n=24) was performed.
Body weight (Wt), height, waist circumference (WC), and arm circumference were assessed using an electronic scale and a measuring tape. Tricep skinfold thickness was measured using a skinfold calliper. Fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis, and HS was recorded with an electronic grip force instrument. Linear regression was used to determine the contributions of parameters as a single predictor or as a ratio of HS to physical function (Short Form-36, SF-36PF) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL).
Obese women had greater absolute FM and FFM and lower HS corrected for FFM and HS-based ratios (i.e., HS/Wt, HS/body mass index [BMI]) than their normal weight and overweight counterparts. After adjusting for physical activity levels and the number of chronic diseases, HS-based ratios explained more variance in SF-36PF scoring (R2, 0.52-0.54) than single anthropometric and body composition variables (R2, 0.45-0.51). WC, HS, and HS-based ratios (HS/Wt and HS/FFM) were also associated with independence in IADL.
Obese very old women have a high WC but their HS is relatively low in relation to their Wt and FFM. These parameters are better than BMI for predicting physical function and independent daily living.