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Eur J Surg. 1994 Jun-Jul;160(6-7):329-34.

The relation between nutritional state and quality of life in surgical patients.

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Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.



To explore the relationship between nutritional status and quality of life in a group of patients in a surgical department.


Prospective open study.


Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.


The patients (n = 199) included 89 females and 110 males, mean age 59 years.


The nutritional status was assessed by the percentage weight loss (% WL), weight index (WI), arm muscle circumference (AMC), triceps skin fold thickness (TSF), serum-albumin (Alb) and serum-prealbumin (p-Alb) concentration. Malnutrition was classified as three or more abnormal values and the overall frequency was 35%. The quality of life was assessed by a self-administered rating form with a life-domain rating part and a well-being rating part. In the current statistical analysis, the nutritional status and its different nutritional markers were tested for significant associations with the life-domain ratings (n = 7) and wellbeing scales (n = 11).


There were significant relations between malnutrition according to nutritional assessment (p < 0.001), % WL (p < 0.005-0.001), Alb (p < 0.05-0.001), p-Alb (p < 0.01-0.001) and quality of life in all life domains except for the social network sphere. The anthropometric variables AMC and TSF showed no association with life domain ratings. As to the wellbeing ratings, an even stronger and more consistent relation were seen between a malnourished state (p < 0.01-0.001), % WL (p < 0.01-0.001), WI (p < 0.01-0.001), Alb (p < 0.01-0.001) and p-Alb (p < 0.05-0.001). AMC and TSF were not linked to the wellbeing ratings.


In summary, there was a close association between malnutrition and impaired quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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