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Prevalence of malnutrition on admission to four hospitals in England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Robert James, John Oldroyd, Sue Green


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Aims: The primary objective was to estimate prevalence of malnutrition on admission to four hospitals. Secondary objectives included assessing the relationship between nutritional status and length of hospital stay, numbers of new prescriptions, new infections and disease severity. Methods: We entered eligible patients according to predefined quotas for elective and emergency admissions to 23 specialities. We measured height, weight, Body Mass Index and anthropometrics, and recorded history of unintentional weight loss. Patients who had lost greater than or equal to 10% of their body weight, had a Body Mass Index <20, or had a Body Mass Index <20 with one anthropometric measurement <15th centile were considered malnourished. Results: Of 1611 eligible patients, 761 did not participate; 269 were too ill; 256 could not be weighed; and 236 refused consent. Eight hundred and fifty were subsequently evaluated. Prevalence of malnutrition on admission was 20%. Length of stay, new prescriptions and infections and disease severity were significantly higher in the malnourished. Conclusions: One patient in every five admitted to hospital is malnourished. Although this figure is unacceptably high, it may underestimate true prevalence. Malnutrition was associated with increased length of stay, new prescriptions and infections. Malnutrition may also have contributed to disease severity. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Edington J, Boorman J, Durrant ER, Perkins A, Giffin CV, James R, Thomson JM, Oldroyd JC, Smith JC, Torrance AD, Blackshaw V, Green S, Hill CJ, Berry C, McKenzie C, Vicca N, Ward JE, Coles SJ, Malnutrition Prevalence Grp

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Nutrition

Year: 2000

Volume: 19

Issue: 3

Pages: 191-195

ISSN (print): 0261-5614

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1983

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1054/clnu.1999.0121


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