Risk of malnutrition upon admission and after discharge in acutely admitted older medical patients: A prospective observational study

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There is a lack of knowledge about malnutrition and risk of malnutrition upon admission and after discharge in older medical patients. This study aimed to describe prevalence, risk factors, and screening tools for malnutrition in older medical patients. In a prospective observational study, malnutrition was evaluated in 128 older medical patients (≥65 years) using the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002), the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF) and the Eating Validation Scheme (EVS). The European Society of Clinical Nutrition (ESPEN) diagnostic criteria from 2015 were applied for diagnosis. Agreement between the screening tools was evaluated by kappa statistics. Risk factors for malnutrition included polypharmacy, dysphagia, depression, low functional capacity, eating-related problems and lowered cognitive function. Malnutrition or risk of malnutrition were prevalent at baseline (59–98%) and follow-up (30–88%). The baseline, follow-up and transitional agreements ranged from slight to moderate. NRS-2002 and MNA-SF yielded the highest agreement (kappa: 0.31 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.18–0.44) to 0.57 (95%CI 0.42–0.72)). Prevalence of risk factors ranged from 17–68%. Applying ESPEN 2015 diagnostic criteria, 15% had malnutrition at baseline and 13% at follow-up. In conclusion, malnutrition, risk of malnutrition and risk factors hereof are prevalent in older medical patients. MNA-SF and NRS-2002 showed the highest agreement at baseline, follow-up, and transitionally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2757
Issue number8
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • Emergency service, Geriatrics, Hospital, Malnutrition, Nutritional assessment, Risk factors for malnutrition

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