NUTRICARE study: Dietary challenges in the population of nursing home residents (Z3-3213)


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Project partner

Nutrition institute

Project leader

Živa Lavriša, PhD

Project duration

1.10.2021 - 31.5.2024

Project description

The elderly (aged 65+) are recognized as a particularly vulnerable group of the population. Nutrition is an important lifestyle factor related to overall health and well-being. Various health problems, including chronic diseases, and treatments can affect appetite, changes in eating habits, and nutrient metabolism. Food choices and the associated adequate intake of essential nutrients are of great importance for maintaining good health. The prevalence of malnutrition in the elderly is higher than in the younger population, and malnutrition is associated with health risks and even higher mortality rates. Research suggests that in older adults, the prevalence of malnutrition is highest among institutionalized individuals.Research generally shows an increased incidence of malnutrition in residents living in nursing homes compared to their peers living in the community.

This highlights the necessity of monitoring the nutritional status and possible risks of certain micronutrient deficiencies in nursing homes in order to improve their health and well-being and prevent additional health complications that are not only a health problem but also increase the cost of health care. The main purpose of the proposed study is to collect epidemiological data on nutrition and intakes of key nutrients in a sample of elderly adults living in nursing homes and to assess the risks of of individual micronutrient deficiency risk by using laboratory diagnostic methods (blood tests). The results of the research will provide insight into the challenges in this area and serve as a base for possible future interventions.

The research will be carried out at the national level, with the total inclusion of approximately 300 subjects from nursing homes of each of all Slovenian regions (Ljubljana, Maribor, Murska Sobota, Novo mesto, Celje, Ravne na Koroškem, Kranj, Nova Gorica, Koper).

The results of the research will also serve as a basis for the adoption of appropriate guidelines at the national level, which would enable optimal health and care for the residents of homes for the elderly.

Ethical approval was obtained from National medical ethics comitee of Slovenia RS KME 0120-531/2021/13, NCT05389618

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Nutrition institute is engaged in research and education in the field of nutrition and advising the food industry in the formulation and labeling of foods. In the scope of the institute, research group Healthy Nutrition is established, which performs research on food and nutrition.