Malnutrition in Acutely Unwell Hospitalized Elderly – "The Skeletons Are Still Rattling in the Hospital Closet".

Link to article at PubMed

Malnutrition in Acutely Unwell Hospitalized Elderly - "The Skeletons Are Still Rattling in the Hospital Closet".

J Nutr Health Aging. 2017;21(10):1210-1215

Authors: Sharma Y, Thompson C, Shari R, Hakendorf P, Miller M

INTRODUCTION: Malnutrition is common in hospitalized patients with prevalence rates of up to 30% in Australian hospitals with adverse consequences for both the patients and health care services. Despite formulation of nutritional screening protocols, not all hospitalized patients get nutritional screening. Real life screening rates of hospitalized elderly patients are unknown.
AIM: The present study explored nutrition screening rate in acutely unwell elderly patients admitted in a large tertiary hospital and how these patients fared depending upon their nutrition status.
METHODS: A prospective cross-sectional study involving 205 general medical patients ≥60years recruited between November 2014 and November 2015. The number of patients who missed nutrition screening were noted and all patients underwent nutritional assessment by a qualified dietitian using PG-SGA and quality of life was measured using EQ-5D 5L. A survival curve was plotted and multivariate cox proportional hazard model was used to adjust for confounders.
RESULTS: Only 99 (49.7%) patients underwent nutritional screening. One hundred and six (53.5%) patients were confirmed as malnourished by PG-SGA. Malnourished patients had significantly longer length of hospital stay and had worse quality of life. Mortality was significantly higher in malnourished patients at one year (23 (21.7%) vs 4 (4.3%); p<0.001) and cox proportional hazard model suggests that malnutrition significantly affects survival even after adjustment for confounders like age, sex, Charlson index and polypharmacy.
CONCLUSION: This study confirms that nutrition screening is still suboptimal in elderly hospitalized patients with adverse consequences and suggests need for review of policies to improve screening practices.

PMID: 29188881 [PubMed - in process]

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