High prevalence of malnutrition both on hospital admission and predischarge

Iris M Y van Vliet*, António W Gomes-Neto, Margriet F C de Jong, Harriët Jager-Wittenaar, Gerjan J Navis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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OBJECTIVES: In Dutch hospitals malnutrition screening is routinely performed at admission, but not during follow-up or before discharge. Therefore we evaluated nutritional status during hospitalization and predischarge in a routine care setting.

METHODS: The Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) was used to assess nutritional status (PG-SGA Categories: A = well nourished, B = moderate/suspected malnutrition, C = severely malnourished) in adult patients on four wards of a university hospital at admission, day 5, day 10, and day ≥15. Because data were obtained in the context of clinical routine, not all data points are available for all patients. Last assessment before discharge (within ≤4 d) was taken as predischarge measurement.

RESULTS: PG-SGA data at admission were obtained in 584 patients (age 57.2 ± 17.3 y, 51.4% women, body mass index 27.0 ± 5.5 kg/m2). Prevalence of PG-SGA stage B/C was 31% at admission, 56% on day 5 (n = 292), 66% on day 10 (n = 101), and 79% on day ≥15 (n = 14). PG-SGA predischarge data were available in 537 patients, 36% of whom were PG-SGA stage B/C. Of the 91 patients assessed both at admission and predischarge, 30% of well-nourished patients became malnourished and 82% of malnourished patients remained so.

CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalized patients is high at admission (31%) and, importantly, also high predischarge (36%). Malnutrition is more prevalent in patients with a longer length of stay. These findings underscore the importance of follow-up of nutritional status in hospitalized patients and adequate transmural nutrition care after discharge to prevent malnutrition from remaining undetected and untreated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110814
Number of pages8
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2020

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