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.