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Poor Appetite Is Associated with Six Month Mortality in Hospitalised Older Men and Women

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Avan SayerORCiD, Professor Sian RobinsonORCiD


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© 2020, Serdi and Springer-Verlag International SAS, part of Springer Nature.Objectives: Appetite loss is common in hospitalised older individuals but not routinely assessed. Poor appetite in hospital has previously been identified as predictive of greater mortality in the six months following discharge in a single study of female patients. The present study aimed to assess this association in a larger sample including both hospitalised men and women. Design: Longitudinal observational study with six month follow up. Setting: Acute hospital wards in a single large hospital in England. Participants: Older inpatients aged over 70 years. Measurements: Appetite was assessed using the Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire (SNAQ) during hospital stay. Deaths during six month follow-up period were recorded. Association between SNAQ score during hospital admission and death 6 months post-discharge was assessed using binary logistic regression in unadjusted and adjusted analysis. Results: 296 participants (43% female, mean age 83 years (SD 6.9)) were included in this study. Prevalence of poor appetite (SNAQ score <14) was 41%. In unadjusted analysis a SNAQ score of <14 was associated with a 2.47 increase in odds of mortality at six months (OR 2.47 (95% CI 1.27,4.82)). This association remained after adjusting for number of comorbidities (Charlson index), length of stay and gender (OR 2.62 (95% CI 1.30, 5.27)). In unadjusted continuous analysis, every one point decrease in SNAQ score led to a 1.20 fold increase in odds of mortality at six months (OR 1.20 (95% CI 1.06–1.36)). This association remained in adjusted analysis (OR 1.22 (95% CI 1.07–1.39)). Conclusion: Poor appetite is common in hospitalised older people. We have confirmed the association, previously reported in older women, between poor appetite during hospital stay and greater mortality at six months post-discharge but in a larger study including older men and women. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms of poor appetite, which lead to increased mortality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cox NJ, Lim SE, Howson F, Moyses H, Ibrahim K, Sayer AA, Roberts HC, Robinson SM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging

Year: 2020

Volume: 24

Pages: 1107-1110

Online publication date: 13/07/2020

Acceptance date: 01/06/2020

ISSN (print): 1279-7707

ISSN (electronic): 1760-4788

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s12603-020-1442-0


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