Malnutrition in hospitalized patients: results from La Rioja

Ángela Martín Palmero, Andra Serrano Pérez, Mª José Chinchetru Ranedo, Alejandro Cámara Balda, Mª Ángeles Martínez de Salinas Santamarí, Gonzalo Villar García, Mª del Mar Marín Lizárraga


Background: There is a high malnutrition prevalence in hospitalized patients. Aim: To determine the malnutrition prevalence in hospitalized patients of La Rioja Community (Spain) when evaluated with different screening/ evaluation tools and its relationship with hospital stay and mortality.

Methods: Cross sectional observational study of hospitalized adult patients (age > 18 years old) from medical and surgical departments that underwent within 72 h of their admission a nutritional screening with Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), Nutritional Risk Screening (NRS) 2002, Controlling Nutritional Status (CONUT) y Subjective Global Assessment (SGA).

Results: 384 patients (273 medical and 111 surgical) were evaluated. Almost fifty percent of them were considered malnourished independently of the screening/assessment tool used. High concordance was found between SGA and NRS-2002 (k = 0.758). Malnourished patients had a longer hospital stay than those well-nourished (9.29 vs. 7.10 days; p = 0.002), used a greater number of medicines (9.2 vs. 7.4; p = 0.001) and underwent a higher number of diagnostic tests (16.4 vs. 12.5; p = 0,002).

Conclusions: Half of the hospitalized patients in the medical and surgical department of La Rioja are malnourished. This is associated with a longer hospital stay, higher use of medicines, diagnostics tests and greater mortality. Malnutrition could be detected with easy screening tools to treat it appropriately.

Palabras clave

Hospital malnutrition. Nutritional status. Nutritional screening. Nutritional assessment.

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