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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


VILLAR-TAIBO, Rocío et al. Epidemiology of home enteral nutrition: an approximation to reality. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.3, pp.511-518. ISSN 1699-5198.


home enteral nutrition (HEN) has undergone an important development; however, there is a notable lack of information with regard to its incidence and characteristics.


our aim was to assess the state of HEN in our area.


an observational, prospective study, involving all patients who had initiated HEN in the Nutrition Unit during a year. Epidemiological, functional, and nutritional evolution of the patients was described and incidence of HEN was calculated.


HEN incidences totalled 229/100,000 inhabitants/year. The HEN population in our area was characterized by the aged and a high frequency of comorbidity and functional limitations. Neurological and oncological diseases accounted for 50% of indications. The remaining cases were malnourished patients who had received short periods of HEN after hospitalization or a hip fracture. Oral supplements (60%) with standard and hypercaloric formulas were used the most. At baseline, 75% of the patients suffered from malnutrition. During the follow-up, patients showed weight gain (1.6%), an increase in the percentage of normal weight and overweight (from 74% to 82.7%, p = 0.001) and a reduction in pressure ulcers (15.7% vs 10.3%, p < 0.001). The median duration of HEN was 8.5 months. Only a quarter of the patients experienced complications (mostly mild gastrointestinal complications); 43.1% had died at the end of the follow-up.


in our area, the HEN incidence was much higher than those described in the literature. HEN appears to be a safe therapy with few complications that improves the nutritional status of the patients, even with short periods of administration.

Keywords : Malnutrition; Nutritional support; Home enteral nutrition.

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