Review Article| Volume 21, ISSUE 9, P1364-1364.e6, September 2020

Nutritional Therapy in Older Patients With Hip Fractures Undergoing Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis



      Older people with hip fractures are often undernourished, which adversely affects their functional prognosis. A previous review reported that oral multinutritional supplements may prevent complications after hip fracture surgery. However, it is unclear whether interventions that combine rehabilitation and nutritional therapy have prognostic benefits. The objective of this study was to determine whether nutritional therapy is effective for patients with hip fractures undergoing rehabilitation.


      Systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

      Setting and Participants

      Randomized controlled trials involving patients at least 65 years of age with hip fracture undergoing rehabilitation with or without nutritional therapy. Older patients with hip fractures undergoing rehabilitation were included.


      A systematic literature search using 5 databases (PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, WHO ICTRP, and Ichu-shi Web) was conducted in December 2018 and identified all randomized controlled trials. Outcome variables include mortality, complications, activities of daily living, quality of life, and muscle strength.


      Of the 1431 studies found, 10 met the inclusion criteria, involving a total of 1119 patients. Four studies reported mortality, 5 studies reported complications, and 4 studies reported grip strength. Nutritional therapy showed a significant reduction in mortality [relative risk (RR) 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39, 0.93; I2 = 0%] and complications (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.44, 1.03; I2 = 79%), and improved grip strength (mean difference = 2.01, 95% CI 0.81, 3.22; I2 = 0%). The effects of nutritional therapy on activities of daily living, quality of life, and knee extension strength are unknown. The majority of studies were assessed as low quality.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Our study showed that the combination of rehabilitation and nutritional therapy for older patients with hip fractures reduced mortality and postoperative complications and enhanced grip strength, although the quality of the evidence was low. A well-designed controlled study is needed for further investigation.


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