Health and nutritional promotion program for patients with dementia (nutrialz study): Design and baseline data



There is a lack of data on global weight loss prevention programs for patients with dementia or clear evidence about their impact on a functional level, caregiver burden or the use of healthcare and social resources. “NutriAlz” is a socio-educative and nutritional intervention program to prevent weight loss and loss of function in dementia patients.

Study Design and Methods

A cluster randomized multi-centre study, which will allow the comparison of a group benefiting from the intervention with a control group after a year of monitoring. Patients were recruited from 11 hospitals in the ambulatory diagnostic units and day care centres. The baseline interview include: sociodemographic and socioeconomic variables (age, gender, educational level, marital status); diagnostic, treatments, MMS, a list of comorbid conditions; activities of daily living (ADL, IADL), Zarit Scale, brief-NPI, Cornell scale and nutritional status as measured by the Mini Nutritional Assessment. All participants or their family signed the inform consent form.

Baseline characteristics

Total of 946 patients were included, with a mean (± SD) of 79 ± 7.3 year of age; 68,1 % were women; 44,9% lives with their partner, only 3% lives alone; 79.8% had Alzheimer’s dementia, 5.25 ± 3.0 years since symptoms of dementia and 2.8 ± 2.11 years since diagnosis. Mean MMSE score was 15.4 ± 6.2; mean weight was 64.4 ± 12.5 kg; mean BMI was 27.0 ± 4.5 (with 3% below 19, 5% between 19–21, 10% between 21–23, and 82% above 23). Mean ADL without difficulties was 3.2± 2.1; mean IADL without difficulties was 0.7± 1.6; mean number of symptoms in the NPI was 4.4 ± 2.59, with severity score of 7.9 ± 5.9 and distress score of 11.3 ± 9.0; mean Zarit scale was 27.4 ± 15.5; mean MNA was 23.2 ± 3.5 with 5 % as malnourished, 32 % at risk of malnutrition, and 63 % with adequate nutritional status.

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Correspondence to A. Salva.

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Salva, A., Andrieu, S., Fernandez, E. et al. Health and nutritional promotion program for patients with dementia (nutrialz study): Design and baseline data. J Nutr Health Aging 13, 529–537 (2009).

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Key words

  • Alzheimer disease
  • dementia
  • nutritional program