Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube feeding of nursing home residents is not associated with improved body composition parameters

S. Kimyagarov, D. Turgeman, Y. Fleissig, R. Klid, B. Kopel, Abraham Adunsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: To study differences in nutritional status and body composition, by feeding modality, among disabled nursing home residents. Design: A retrospective chart-review study. Setting: A nursing wing of a public urban geriatric center. Participants: Three groups of patients: non-dysphagic, orally-fed dysphagic and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy -fed dysphagic patients. Intervention: Standard nursing care Measurements: Basal metabolic rate, total energy expenditure and nitrogen balance under oral or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy feeding. Dietary intake was assessed during a 3-days period by daily-food intake protocols and a 24-hours urinary creatinine excretion to detect nitrogen balance and calculate body composition parameters. Results: Data of 117 patients (55.5% females), mean age 84.6±7.5 (range 66-98 years) was analyzed. Dysphagic patients (60) differed from non-dysphagic patients (57) by lower body mass index (p=0.020), fat mass index (p=0.017), daily protein intake (p<0.0001), daily energy intake (p<0.001), protein related energy intake (p<0.001) and a negative nitrogen balance (p<0.001). In regression analyses, dysphagia was associated with increased risk of having a body mass index lower than 22.0kg/m2 (OR=2.60, 95% CI 1.135-5.943), a negative nitrogen balance (OR=2.33, 95% CI 1.063-4.669), a low fat mass index (OR=2.53, 95% CI 1.066-6.007), and low daily protein and energy intakes per body weight (OR=2.87, 95% CI 1.316-6.268 and OR=2.99, 95% CI 1.297-6.880). Compared with orally-fed dysphagic patients (21pts.), percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy -fed patients (39pts.) received an additional mean energy intake of 30.5% kcal per day and mean protein intake of 26.0%. This additional intake was not associated with improved body composition parameters (such as fat free mass, skeletal mass or body mass index). Conclusion: Dysphagic nursing home residents are characterized by worse nutritional, metabolic and body composition parameters, compared with non-dysphagic residents. Body composition parameters did not differ between orally-fed and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy-fed dysphagic patients, despite significantly better nutritional and metabolic parameters in PEG-fed patients. Other approaches (perhaps physical training, pharmacological etc.) should be sought to improve body composition of such patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-165
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • dietary protein
  • elderly
  • energy intake
  • nitrogen balance


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