Poster Topical Area: Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 428

P10-028 - Adequacy of Protein Consumption 1-Week and 4-Weeks after Hospital Discharge in Older Adults

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: Patients often experience nutritional decline during hospitalization attributable to concomitant conditions including sleep disruption, pain, poor nutritional intake, physical deconditioning, and increased polypharmacy. Patients at risk for undernutrition at discharge overlap with many risk factors of readmission. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition have called for the development of care plans for this high-risk population. However, nutritional intake and meal patterns of older adults post-discharge have not been well-established. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the protein intake of older adults after an acute hospitalization and to compare these findings to national recommendations.

Methods: Subjects (≥65 years, n=113) were recruited during hospitalization at UTMB. Guided food recalls were collected at 1-week and 4-weeks post-discharge using the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Recall in a subset of subjects (n=34). Protein intake was compared to the current RDA (0.8g/kg/day), a higher proposed protein recommendation (1.2g/kg/day), and per-meal recommendation (0.4g/kg/meal). One sample t-tests were used to compare participant's average intake to each recommendation.

Results: Average (SD) protein consumption was 0.85 (0.32) g/kg which was not significantly different than the current RDA but was significantly lower than the higher recommendation of 1.2g/kg/day. It is important to note however, that only 42% of participants met the RDA recommendation and even less, only 15%, met the higher protein recommendation. The per-meal protein threshold recommendation was met 0% at breakfast, 32% at lunch, and 47% at dinner.

Conclusions: We found that the majority of older adults are not consuming the current RDA after hospital discharge and even less are meeting the higher recommendation for optimal protein intake to compensate for the catabolic conditions experienced during hospitalization. A skewed dietary protein distribution was present with no participants meeting the recommended dietary protein threshold at breakfast. More research needs to be conducted measuring the effects of protein supplementation, especially during breakfast, on post-acute care outcomes in older adults.

Funding Source:

Funding: National Dairy Council (1229), National Institutes of Health-National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (CTSA TL1R001440), and UTMB Claude D. Pepper OAIC (5P30AG024832).

CoAuthors: Erin Maxwell – University of Texas Medical Branch; Kristen Poynor – University of Texas Medical Branch; Shawn Goodlett – University of Texas Medical Branch; Elena Volpi, MD, PhD – University of Texas Medical Branch

Rachel R. Deer

Assistant Professor
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, Texas