METHODS: An exhaustive literature search was performed, in order to identify the relevant studies describing the epidemiology, pathogenesis, nutritional intervention and outcome of PEW in ESRD on hemodialysis.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The pathogenesis of PEW is multifactorial. Loss of appetite, reduced intake of nutrients and altered lean body mass anabolism/catabolism play a key role. Nutritional approach to PEW should be based on a careful and periodic assessment of nutritional status and on timely dietary counseling. When protein and energy intakes are reduced, nutritional supplementation by means of specific oral formulations administered during the hemodialysis session may be the first-step intervention, and represents a valid nutritional approach to PEW prevention and treatment since it is easy, effective and safe. Omega-3 fatty acids and fibers, now included in commercially available preparations for renal patients, could lend relevant added value to macronutrient supplementation. When oral supplementation fails, intradialytic parenteral nutrition can be implemented in selected patients.
METHODS: In a randomised double-blind controlled, parallel, multicountry intervention study, 767 healthy children, ages 11 to 29 months, received GUM with scGOS/lcFOS/LCPUFAs (the active group, n = 388), GUM without scGOS/lcFOS/LCPUFAs (the control group, n = 379), or cow's milk (n = 37) for 52 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the number of episodes of upper respiratory tract infections or gastrointestinal infections based on a combination of subject's illness symptoms reported by the parents during the intervention period.
RESULTS: Children in the active group compared with the control group had a decreased risk of developing at least 1 infection (299/388 [77%] vs 313/379 [83%], respectively, relative risk 0.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.87-1.00; logistic regression P = 0.03). There was a trend toward a reduction (P = 0.07) in the total number of infections in the active group, which was significant when confirmed by one of the investigators (268/388 [69%] vs 293/379 [77%], respectively, relative risk 0.89, 95% CI 0.82-0.97; P = 0.004, post hoc). More infectious episodes were observed in the cow's milk group, when compared with both GUM groups (34/37 [92%] vs 612/767 [80%], respectively, relative risk 1.15, 95% CI 1.04-1.28).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study in children to show a reduced risk of infection following consumption of GUM supplemented with scGOS/lcFOS/n-3 LCPUFAs. The borderline statistical significance justifies a new study to confirm this finding.