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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 247315, 9 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Malnutrition in Orally and Tube-Fed Elderly Nursing Home Residents in Germany and Its Relation to Health Complaints and Dietary Intake

1Institute for Biomedicine of Aging, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Heimerichstraße 58, 90419 Nuremberg, Germany
2Institute of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nutrition Physiology, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany

Received 11 June 2010; Accepted 20 March 2011

Academic Editor: Irit Chermesh

Copyright © 2011 Dorothee Volkert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To investigate the prevalence of malnutrition in orally and tube-fed nursing home (NH) residents in Germany and its relation to common health complaints and dietary intake. Methods. In 350 NH residents, subjects' characteristics, Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), and several health problems were inquired with the nursing staff using standardised interviews. In a subset of 122 residents, dietary intake was assessed by 3-day weighing records. Results. 7.7% of the participants were tube fed. 24.1% of orally nourished and 57.7% of tube-fed residents were malnourished (MNA < 17 p.). Malnutrition was significantly related to nausea/vomiting, constipation, pressure ulcers, dehydration, infections, antibiotic use, and hospitalisation. Mean daily energy intake was 1535 ± 413 kcal and mean protein intake was 54.2 ± 0.9 g/d irrespective of the nutritional state. Conclusion. In Germany, malnutrition is widespread among NH residents and is related to common health problems. The MNA rather reflects health condition than currently reduced dietary intake.