Short-term oral nutritional intervention with protein and vitamin D decreases falls in malnourished older adults.

F. Neelemaat, P.T.A.M. Lips, J.E. Bosmans, A. Thijs, J.C. Seidell, M.A.E. van Bokhorst-de van der Schueren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of a short-term nutritional intervention with protein and vitamin D on falls in malnourished older adults.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: From hospital admission until 3 months after discharge.

PARTICIPANTS: Malnourished older adults (≥ 60) newly admitted to an acute hospital (n = 210).

INTERVENTION: Participants were randomized to receive nutritional intervention (energy- and protein-enriched diet, oral nutritional supplements, calcium-vitamin D supplement, telephone counseling by a dietitian) for 3 months after discharge or usual care.

MEASUREMENTS: Number of participants who fell, fall incidents, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and dietary intake. Measurements were performed on admission to hospital and 3 months after discharge.

RESULTS: Three months after discharge, 10 participants (10%) in the intervention group had fallen at least once, compared with 24 (23%) in the control group (hazard ratio = 0.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.19-0.86). There were 57 fall incidents (16 in the intervention group; 41 in the control group). A significantly higher intake of energy (280 kcal, 95% CI = 37-524 kcal) and protein (11 g, 95% CI = 1-25 g) and significantly higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (10.9 nmol/L, 95% CI = 2.9-18.9 nmol/L) were found in participants in the intervention group than in controls.

CONCLUSION: A short-term nutritional intervention consisting of oral nutritional supplements and calcium and vitamin D supplementation and supported by dietetic counseling in malnourished older adults decreases the number of patients who fall and fall incidents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-699
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Accidental Falls
  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Comparative Study
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Bone
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Journal Article
  • Male
  • Malnutrition
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamins

Cite this