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Evidence-based management of disease-related malnutrition: updated guidance

02 January 2022
4 min read
Volume 27 · Issue 1

Abstract

This article outlines the updated guidelines produced by the Managing Adult Malnutrition in the Community panel, which aims to assist and support health and social care professionals working in the community to identify and manage malnutrition, particularly that related to ageing, disease and long-term medical conditions.

The clinical consequences of malnutr ition can be profound. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that undetected and untreated malnutrition reduces muscle strength, contributes to frailty, increases falls risk, slows recovery from illness and surgery, and impairs psychosocial function, immune response and wound healing, all of which are associated with poorer clinical outcomes (Stratton et al, 2003; Bowling et al, 2010; Meijers et al, 2012; Morley et al, 2013; Gossier et al, 2016). The cost of malnutrition in the UK exceeds £23.5 billion per annum (Elia, 2015). At an individual level, it costs three times more, on average, to manage a malnourished patient than a non-malnourished individual (£7408 versus £2155) (Stratton et al, 2018). Therefore, action to detect, treat and prevent malnutrition are justified on both a clinical and cost basis.

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