Nutritional problems of patients with COVID-19 receiving dietetic treatment in primary care

Anne I. Slotegraaf*, Marian A.E. de van der Schueren, Nicolette J. Wierdsma, Peter J.M. Weijs, Hinke M. Kruizenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The nutritional problems of patients who are hospitalised for COVID-19 are becoming increasingly clear. However, a large group of patients have never been hospitalised and also appear to experience persistent nutritional problems. The present study describes the nutritional status, risk of sarcopaenia and nutrition-related complaints of patients recovering from COVID-19 receiving dietetic treatment in primary care. Methods: In this retrospective observational study, data were collected during dietetic treatment by a primary care dietitian between April and December 2020. Both patients who had and had not been admitted to the hospital were included at their first visit to a primary care dietitian. Data on nutritional status, risk of sarcopaenia and nutrition-related complaints were collected longitudinally. Results: Data from 246 patients with COVID-19 were collected. Mean ± SD age was 57 ± 16 years and 61% of the patient population was female. At first consultation, two thirds of patients were classified as overweight or obese (body mass index >25 kg m–2). The majority had experienced unintentional weight loss because of COVID-19. Additionally, 55% of hospitalised and 34% of non-hospitalised patients had a high risk of sarcopaenia. Most commonly reported nutrition-related complaints were decreased appetite, shortness of breath, changed or loss of taste and feeling of being full. Nutrition-related complaints decreased after the first consultation, but remained present over time. Conclusions: In conclusion, weight changes, risk of sarcopaenia and nutrition-related complaints were prevalent in patients with COVID-19, treated by a primary care dietitian. Nutrition-related complaints improved over time, but remained prevalent until several months after infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-30
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume36
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • dietitian
  • nutrition-related complaints
  • nutritional status
  • primary care
  • sarcopaenia

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