A new guide for healthcare providers is designed to help assist and manage the nutritional needs of people with COPD at-risk of malnutrition.

The new resource, “Managing Malnutrition in COPD,“ is based on clinical evidence, clinical experience, and accepted best practices, and has been endorsed by 10 key UK professional and patient organizations.

The guide includes a pathway for appropriate use of oral nutritional supplements, which are typically used along with a normal diet when the patients’ diets alone are insufficient to meet their daily nutritional requirements.

Authors of the guide say that by using the five-step Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), it has been estimated that approximately 21% of people with COPD (up to 630,000 people in the UK) are at risk of malnutrition, which may develop gradually over several years or more rapidly following exacerbations. Researchers also noted that effectively managing those at risk of malnutrition according to the guidance in the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Quality Standards can result in significant cost savings for the National Health Service of more than £119,000 per 100,000 of the general population in the UK.

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