Forget apples, taking a supplement keeps you out of hospital

One of the banes of hospital care is the patient with a chronic problem who is readmitted within a month after initial treatment. But patients are far more likely to stay away if they start taking a nutritional supplement the moment they get home, a new study has found.

Patients who have been treated for a heart attack are 12 per cent less likely to be readmitted if they take a supplement, while a similar rate is seen in patients with heart failure. Overall, the readmission rate drops by 8.4 per cent for any patient aged 65 or older who starts taking vitamins.

Patients who were already taking supplements before they were admitted to hospital also do better. On average, they spend 1.65 fewer days in hospital than patients who don’t take supplements.

These reductions are significant. They reduce the strain on hospital resources and in the US, where these things are more starkly defined in monetary terms, it saves the hospitals millions of dollars in costs and fines that are levied on those with high readmission rates.

(Source: Proceedings of the 35th meeting of the Society for Medical

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