Oral supplement cut death rate of older hospital patients by 50%

A specialized oral supplement regime cut the death rate of older malnourished patients with heart or lung disease by 50%, US scientists report.

In a study carried out by researchers at Texas A&M University, the effects of a specialized nutrition supplement – containing high protein (2o grams), HMB (a muscle-preserving ingredient) and vitamin D – were compared to a placebo on a group of 652 malnourished patients aged 65 or over (admitted to hospital with heart lung disease). The researchers looked in particular at readmissions and death rate 90 days after leaving hospital.

The results showed a significantly lower (50 percent) death rate for patients who received the specialised nutrition supplement.

There were also improvements in other health outcomes, including body weight, nutritional status and Vitamin D levels, at 30 and 60 days after leaving the hospital for the group taking the specialised nutrition supplement.