A Comparison of Survival, Pneumonia, and Hospitalization in Patients with Advanced Dementia and Dysphagia Receiving Either Oral or Enteral Nutrition.
J Nutr Health Aging. 2014;18(10):894-899
Authors: Cintra MT, de Rezende NA, de Moraes EN, Cunha LC, da Gama Torres HO
Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the survival rate, pneumonia incidence, and hospital admissions among elderly patients with advanced dementia and to compare these outcomes between patients receiving enteral and oral nutrition. Design: An observational, prospective, non-randomized, and unblinded study, with a minimum follow up of 6 months. Setting: Inpatient wards as well as ambulatory and emergency units run by a Brazilian university. Participants: Dysphagic elderly patients aged ≥60 years with advanced dementia (classified as at least 7A according to the Functional Assessment Staging [FAST]). Both patients with gastrostomies and nasogastric feeding tubes were included in the alternative feeding group. Measurements: Following informed consent, a complete clinical examination was performed upon recruitment, and the primary caregiver was interviewed. Data concerning the major outcomes described above, as well as other demographic and clinical information, were recorded at admission and during follow-up phone calls. Survival analysis was performed using a Kaplan-Meier curve and a stepwise Cox regression analysis. Results: Sixty-seven elderly patients were recruited: 36 (53,7%) for oral feeding and 31 for alternative feeding (n=28 nasogastric tube). Of these, 57 (85.1%) were classified as at least FAST 7C. They were, on average, 84.79 years old, mostly women (85.1%), and with a low level of education (2.9 years). Mortality at 3 months was 11.1% among the oral feeding group and 41.9% among the alternative feeding group (p=0.004). At 6 months, the mortality rate increased to 27.8% and 58.1%, respectively (p=0.012). The following variables persisted in the regression model at the end of the analysis: feeding route (p = .018; RR = 2.33; CI: 1.158-4.667), duration of dementia (p = .014; RR = .88; CI: .786-.974) and number of pressure ulcers (p = .007; RR = 1.250; CI: 1.063-1.470). A higher incidence of aspiration pneumonia was observed in the alternative feeding group (p=0.006), but no difference in the number of hospital admissions was detected between the groups (p=0.365). Conclusion: The use of alternative feeding, along with the number of pressure ulcers were associated with an increased risk of death in elderly patients with advanced dementia. A higher incidence of aspiration pneumonia was also observed in the alternative feeding group. The number of hospital admissions was not different between the feeding routes.
PMID: 25470805 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]