People who are undernourished, whatever the cause, feel unwell, function badly and, compared with others, are more likely to consult their GPs, to need medication and be admitted to hospital.1,2 Once in hospital, they have a higher rate of complications, such as infections and pressure sores, and they take longer to recover and to return home.3 In an article 3 years ago, we discussed the detection and management of undernourished adults in hospital.3 Here, we consider undernourishment in those living in the community. As in the previous article, we concentrate on general undernourishment (protein and energy deficiency), rather than specific deficiencies of micronutrients (such as vitamins and minerals).
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