Nutritional interventions in older people with COVID-19: an overview of the evidence

Nurs Older People. 2021 Dec 8. doi: 10.7748/nop.2021.e1368. Online ahead of print.


Older people are a high-risk group for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of a range of factors, including age-related changes in anatomical pulmonary and muscle function, decreased immunity and increased inflammation. These factors partly explain why older people with COVID-19 experience more severe symptoms and higher mortality than younger adults and are more likely to require nutritional support. Furthermore, there is an association between suboptimal nutritional status and poorer recovery from COVID-19. Therefore, nutritional interventions are an important aspect of care for older people with COVID-19. All members of the multidisciplinary team, including dietitians and nurses, need to assess, treat and prevent nutritional deficiencies in older people with COVID-19. This literature review provides an overview of the evidence regarding the role of nutritional interventions in the treatment of, and recovery from, COVID-19 in older people.

Keywords: COVID-19; clinical; coronavirus disease 2019; diet; health promotion; malnutrition; nutrition; nutritional status; nutritional supplements; nutritional support; obesity; older people; recovery.