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Nutrition. 1996 Jan;12(1):23-9.

In 1995 a correlation between malnutrition and poor outcome in critically ill patients still exists.

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1
Department of Surgery, University Hospital, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.

Abstract

After more than two decades of nutritional awareness, we designed a prospective study to determine whether malnutrition is still a significant issue in hospitalized patients. Patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) were divided into well-nourished and malnourished groups, according to their nutritional status as assessed by serum albumin level and weight/height ratio. Severity of illness, as assessed by the Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System (TISS), was used to further stratify the study population. All patients were followed clinically until discharge or death and their outcome recorded. Of 129 patients studied, 43% were malnourished. Length of hospital stay (p = n.s.), incidence of complications (p < 0.01), and number of patients not discharged from hospital (p < 0.05) were greater in the malnourished patients than in the well-nourished. In patients with less severe degrees of illness, the existence of malnutrition led to a worse outcome than in sicker patients. To further assess the clinical setting in which hospital-related malnutrition develops or is exacerbated, postoperative patients admitted to the ICU (n = 66) were also studied in a nutritional survey; the results of this survey indicate that: (a) the incidence of malnutrition in the surgical population is similar to that in the whole study population, and (b) hospital-related malnutrition in surgical patients mainly develops during their preoperative stay in general wards. Whereas our conclusion that patients' outcome is adversely affected by a poor nutritional status is not new or startling, malnutrition continues to be a persistent problem in hospitalized patients, which can be readily identified using simple and easily available indices and, furthermore, readily treated.

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PMID:
8838832
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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