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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 326-331

High prevalence of malnutrition among hospitalized patients in a tertiary care hospital by using malnutrition universal screening tool

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD of Internal Medicine Mervat E Behiry
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, 71 El Kasr El Aini, Cairo, 11562
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejim.ejim_126_18

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Background Estimating the prevalence of malnutrition among the hospitalized patients is challenging. Malnutrition is associated with a variety of poor outcomes including long hospital stay and mortality as well as increased hospital costs. Aim The study aims to assess the risk of malnutrition in hospitalized patients and to identify the main factors and clinical parameters associated with the risk of malnutrition. Materials and methods The researchers conducted a cohort study to screen for the risk of malnutrition following hospital admission in a population of adult patients recently admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Egypt using the malnutrition universal screening tool (MUST) and simplified nutritional appetite questionnaire and to assess the effect of malnutrition on duration of hospital stay. Results The study included 1000 patients with a mean age of 49±13.7 years. The median duration of hospitalization was 5 (4–7) days, with a range of 2–30 days. All those included in the study presented a risk for malnutrition (1.0% medium risk and 99.0% high risk). High risk malnutrition was most common among those with diabetes (P=0.001) and renal problems (P=0.03), and in patients who had been admitted for longer hospital stay (P=0.037). A statistically positive correlation was seen between the age of the patients (P=0.031, r=−0.031), length of stay (P=0.353, r<0.001), and MUST score. However, there was a statistically significant negative weak correlation between simplified nutritional appetite questionnaire (appetite) (P=0.003, r=−0.094), BMI (P<0.001, r=−0.120), albumin (P<0.001, r=−0.117), and MUST score. Malnourished patients had a longer hospital stay than those who are well nourished (P=0.002). Conclusion We have identified an overall malnutrition risk of 100% among the hospitalized patients and ascertained that malnutrition is a risk of prolonged length of hospital stay. MUST questionnaire should be implemented to screen and early recognize the malnourished hospitalized subjects for better intervention.

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