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Effect of Medically Tailored Meals on Clinical Outcomes in Recently Hospitalized High-Risk Adults

Inability to adhere to nutritional recommendations is common and linked to worse outcomes in patients with nutrition-sensitive conditions. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether medically tailored meals (MTMs) improve outcomes in recently discharged adults with nutrition-sensitive conditions compared with usual care. Remote pragmatic randomized trial. Adults with heart failure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease being discharged home between April 27, 2020, and June 9, 2021, from 5 hospitals within an integrated health care delivery system. Participants were prerandomized to 10 weeks of MTMs (with or without virtual nutritional counseling) compared with usual care. The primary outcome was all-cause hospitalization within 90 days after discharge. Exploratory outcomes included all-cause and cause-specific health care utilization and all-cause death within 90 days after discharge. A total of 1977 participants (MTMs: n=993, with 497 assigned to also receive virtual nutritional counseling; usual care: n=984) were enrolled. Compared with usual care, MTMs did not reduce all-cause hospitalization at 90 days after discharge [adjusted hazard ratio, aHR: 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.86-1.21]. In exploratory analyses, MTMs were associated with lower mortality (aHR: 0.65, 95% CI, 0.43-0.98) and fewer hospitalizations for heart failure (aHR: 0.53, 95% CI, 0.33-0.88), but not for any emergency department visits (aHR: 0.95, 95% CI, 0.78-1.15) or diabetes-related hospitalizations (aHR: 0.75, 95% CI, 0.31-1.82). No additional benefit was observed with virtual nutritional counseling. Provision of MTMs after discharge did not reduce risk of all-cause hospitalization in adults with nutrition-sensitive conditions. Additional large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed to definitively determine the impact of MTMs on survival and cause-specific health care utilization in at-risk individuals.

Authors: Go, Alan S; Ambrosy, Andrew P; Lee, Keane K; Lo, Joan C; KP NOURISH Study Investigators,; et al.

Med Care. 2022 Oct 01;60(10):750-758. Epub 2022-08-15.

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