Older medical patients are a vulnerable group with a multiple of nutritional related problems. Due to the ageing process appetite is reduced and hence nutrient and fluid intake decreases. Additionally the older medical patient is characterized by stress metabolism. This results in nutritionally related complications as accelerates loss of function and muscle mass and decreased immune function.

Nutritional intake is related to various aspects of physiology and social and cultural settings. This is why we think that nutritional problems are best approached multi-disciplinary. Undernourishment can be present at admission or it may develop during hospitalization or after discharge. Therefore, nutritional problems need to be treated when the patient is an in-patient and the treatment needs to follow the patient to the home setting. To capture patients at risk of nutritional related problems we believe that the Acute Medical Emergency Department is an essential setting.

Main focus
We are focused on the effect of a high protein intake during hospitalization and following discharge combined with weight-bearing training.

Furthermore, we look into the health professional’s knowledge and handling of nutritional issues in patient care.

Ongoing studies
The older medical patient's nutritional status at admission, discharges and at siex-month follow-up. Louise Lawson-Smith [Manuscript in preparation]

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