Nutritional status and food intake of Brazilian patients at various stages of Alzheimer’s disease: A crosssectional study

  • Vanessa Fernanda Goes
  • Jacqueline Aparecida Eidam Horst
  • Juliane Cristina Almeida
  • Weber Cláudio Francisco Nunes da Silva
  • Najeh Maissar Khalil
  • Juliana Sartori Bonini
Keywords: Nutritional assessment. Alzheimer’s disease. Undernutrition. Overweight. Elderly


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by disorders that can impair the nutrition of the patient and lead to weight loss and nutritional deficits during the course of the disease. The aim of this study was to assess the nutritional status and food intake of Brazilian patients with Alzheimer’s disease at 3 different stages of the disease. The sample consisted of 30 subjects of both genders, mean age 77 years, with probable AD. Subjects were assessed by collecting anthropometric data, the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), serum albumin content, Mini Mental State Examination and 24-hour records of food and drink. Although a steady decrease in average weight was observed as the disease progressed (CDR1: 70.8±15.9 kg; CDR2: 61.4±15.7 kg; CDR3: 56.1± 8.4 kg), the differences were not significant. MNA and serum albumin both fell during the progression of the disease (p = 0.042; p = 0.047, respectively) and, at the severe stage, half the patients were found to be undernourished and the other half at risk of undernutrition. According to their body mass index, 23.3% of patients were overweight. The nutritional value of the food consumed was similar across the stages of AD. In conclusion, the majority of Brazilian patients with AD in this study exhibited cognitive decline and malnutrition. However, food intake was similar among the stages of the disease, thus having no direct association with the progression of AD.

Research Article