Nutritional Risk in Acutely Admitted Older Medical Patients

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Nutritional risk among older medical patients admitted to hospitals is high. More knowledge is needed of the association between nutritional risk when hospitalised and that after full recovery. This is the first step towards determining a more comprehensive cross-sectional nutritional risk. Our aim was to examine the association between nutritional risk at admission versus six months after discharge in acutely admitted older patients. We also examined the nutritional risk of patients who died or were lost to follow-up. This descriptive follow-up study included 90 older patients. Nutritional risk was determined by the Nutritional Risk Screening (NRS). The associations between nutritional risk measures determined at admission and six months after discharge and between nutritional risk measures and the reason for being lost to follow-up were analysed by Chi-square or Fisher’s exact test, as appropriate. At admission, 74% of the patients were at nutritional risk. Of the patients who were not at nutritional risk at admission and who completed the six-month follow-up, five (31%) reported weight loss at follow-up. Furthermore, 12 (46%) of the patients who did not report weight loss at admission reported weight loss at follow-up. Forty-six (49%) patients were lost to follow-up: eight died, all of whom were at nutritional risk; seven had decreased appetite at admission; and ten were too exhausted to continue due to illness, including eight at nutritional risk and seven with decreased appetite. Being an acutely admitted older medical patient seems to be a risk factor for developing nutritional risk within six months, independent of nutritional risk status at admission. In addition, poor nutritional status was predictive of being lost to follow-up
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)84-89
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 281656414