Hip fractures are a common experience within the aging population and can become a primary cause of severe, often incessant functional debilitation in older adults. Moreover, hip fractures can significantly affect an older adult’s self-care abilities, causing increased dependency and significant loss of autonomy and wellbeing. Although some patients are able to regain almost full functional restoration, most continue to suffer from decline. It is well known that nutritional status is an important aspect of health status. Poor nutritional status in older adult patients usually is related to higher occurrences of complications, rehospitalizations, and mortality compared to those who are well-nourished. However, it is not clear how nutritional status prior to hip fracture affects an older adult patient’s functional recovery process postoperation from hip fracture. Thus, a recent study examined prefracture nutritional status in a sample of older adult patients with hip fracture to explore how this influenced functional recovery and the clinical course.
The study found that older adult patients with hip fracture from all functional and cognitive levels experienced worse functional status and greater functional loss if they had worse prefracture nutritional status. This study provides more of a reason for care providers of older adults in either nursing homes or assisted living facilities to provide nutritious meals in order to maintain optimal nutritional status throughout their residency.