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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):613-8.

Nutritional assessment: lean body mass depletion at hospital admission is associated with an increased length of stay.

Author information

  • 1Clinical Nutrition department, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland. claude.pichard@medecine.unige.ch

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Low fat-free mass may be an independent risk factor for malnutrition that results in an increased length of hospital stay (LOS).

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives were to compare differences in fat-free mass and fat mass at hospital admission between patients and healthy control subjects and to determine the association between these differences and the LOS.

DESIGN:

Patients (525 men, 470 women) were prospectively recruited at hospital admission. Height-corrected fat-free mass and fat mass (fat-free-mass index or fat-mass index; in kg/m2) were determined in patients at admission by bioelectrical impedance analysis and were compared with values for sex-, age-, and height-matched control subjects. Patients were classified as well-nourished, moderately depleted, or severely depleted on the basis of a Subjective Global Assessment questionnaire and a body mass index (in kg/m2) < or > 20.

RESULTS:

Low fat-free mass was noted in 37% and 55.6% of patients hospitalized 1-2 d and > 12 d, respectively. The odds ratios were significant for fat-free-mass index and were higher in patients with a LOS of > 12 d [men (odds ratio: 5.6; 95% CI: 3.1, 10.4), women (4.4; 2.3, 8.7)] than in those with a LOS of 1-2 d [men (3.3; 2.2, 5.0), women (2.2; 1.6, 3.1)]. Severe nutritional depletion was significantly associated only with a LOS > 12 d.

CONCLUSION:

Fat-free mass and fat-free-mass index were significantly lower in patients than in control subjects. Because the fat-free-mass index is significantly associated with an increased LOS, provides nutritional assessment information that complements that from a Subjective Global Assessment questionnaire, and is a more sensitive determinant of the association of fat-free mass with LOS than is a weight loss > 10% or a body mass index < 20, it should be used to evaluate nutritional status.

PMID:
15051605
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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