The risk of malnutrition in community-living elderly on admission to hospital for major surgery
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Acta chirurgica Belgica. - Brussel, 1946 - 1996
, p. 341-347
University of Antwerp
Background : With prevalence rates varying from 10 to 60%, malnutrition in acute hospitals has been acknowledged as a persistent problem in older adults worldwide. This publication is to describe the nutritional condition and associated risk factors of malnutrition in free living elderly on admission to the hospital for major elective surgery. Methods : A cross sectional, multi-center study in eight surgical wards in three Belgian hospitals. A total of 204 free living elderly, aged 74.8 +/- 6.6 years (Mean +/- SD), on admission to the hospital for major elective surgery and requiring at least 3 days of hospitalization, were consecutively recruited to the study. The nutritional status was assessed on admission and before surgery using the recommended NRS-2002. Data on possible associated factors were collected during post-operative stay using a structured questionnaire. Results : A total of 107 patients (51.4%) were at high risk of malnutrition. In patients older than 70 years (n 150) the risk of malnutrition increased up to 66%. None of the included patients reported preoperative referral to a dietician or nutritional advice nor any prescribed preoperative nutritional supplement. In a multivariate regression analysis it appeared that none of the possible associated factors were significantly associated with malnutrition. Conclusions : This study confirms the high risk of malnutrition in community living elderly on admission to hospital for elective surgery. According to the NRS-2002 these patients might benefit from nutritional support. However, it appears that nutritional support is not yet commonly implemented in preoperative care for this population at risk.