Intake of Dietary Supplements and Malnutrition in Patients in Intensive Care Unit

Int J Prev Med. 2016 Jul 13:7:90. doi: 10.4103/2008-7802.186224. eCollection 2016.


Background: Malnutrition is prevalent among patients hospitalized in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and causes various complications. Dietary supplementation to provide appropriate nutritional support may reduce the malnutrition and complications through improvement in nutritional status. This study was carried out to assess the association between dietary supplementation and malnutrition among patients in ICUs.

Methods: A case-control study was conducted on 180 male patients aged 20-60 years in the ICUs of the hospitals in Ahvaz, Iran in 2013. Data of two groups including 83 patients (cases) who had consumed regular hospital meals and dietary supplements and 97 patients (controls) who had received regular hospital meals were compared. Anthropometric measurements, laboratory values, and dietary intakes were extracted from medical records, and Maastricht index (MI) was calculated. Data were analyzed using the IBM SPSS Statistics 21. T-test and paired-sample t-test were used to determine the difference between groups.

Results: Taking supplements increased daily energy intake, carbohydrate, and protein in case group (n = 83) significantly (P < 0.05). MI changed to 3.1 ± 3.8 and 4.3 ± 4.2 in case (n = 83) and control (n = 97) groups, respectively. Although the MI fell in both groups, it showed a greater reduction in case group (from 6.3 ± 5.3 to 3.1 ± 3.8).

Conclusions: Since consuming dietary supplements besides the regular hospital meals increased intake of energy and macronutrients and reduced the MI significantly, it was concluded that it helped supply nutritional requirements more effectively and improved the malnutrition in ICU.

Keywords: Dietary supplement; Intensive Care Unit; Maastricht index; malnutrition; nutritional status.