'Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool' Predicts Mortality and Length of Hospital Stay in Acutely Ill Elderly

British Journal of Nutrition. 2006 Feb; 95(2):325-30. doi: 10.1079/bjn20051622.
Stratton, R. J., King, C. L., Stroud, M. A., Jackson, A. A., & Elia, M.


Malnutrition and its impact on clinical outcome may be underestimated in hospitalised elderly as many screening procedures require measurements of weight and height that cannot often be undertaken in sick elderly patients. The 'Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool' ('MUST') has been developed to screen all adults, even if weight and/or height cannot be measured, enabling more complete information on malnutrition prevalence and its impact on clinical outcome to be obtained. In the present study, 150 consecutively admitted elderly patients (age 85 (sd 5.5) years) were recruited prospectively, screened with 'MUST' and clinical outcome recorded. Although only 56 % of patients could be weighed, all (n 150) could be screened with 'MUST'; 58 % were at malnutrition risk and these individuals had greater mortality (in-hospital and post-discharge, P<0.01) and longer hospital stays (P=0.02) than those at low risk. Both 'MUST' categorisation and component scores (BMI, weight loss, acute disease) were significantly related to mortality (P<0.03). Those patients with no measured or recalled weight ('MUST' subjective criteria used) had a greater risk of malnutrition (P=0.01) and a poorer clinical outcome (P<0.002) than those who could be weighed and, within both groups, clinical outcome was worse in those at risk of malnutrition. The present study suggests that 'MUST' predicts clinical outcome in hospitalised elderly, in whom malnutrition is common (58 %). In those who cannot be weighed, a higher prevalence of malnutrition and associated poorer clinical outcome supports the importance of routine screening with a tool, like 'MUST', that can be used to screen all patients.

Information NutriBib

Reference work for leading, current and selected literature in the field of clinical nutrition

Publications on clinical nutrition have grown steadily in recent years and the scientific evidence has been improved by numerous observational as well as intervention studies. Various umbrella organisations, such as the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (GESKES), the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM) or the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) publish guidelines on nutrition in various clinical situations at regular intervals. Thus, a large amount of literature is available for evidence-based nutritional medicine.

The NutriBib aims to filter out authoritative publications in the various fields of nutritional medicine and thus to provide an overview of the abundance of literature. A large number of experienced nutrition experts contributed to the selection of relevant sources and allow a broadly based selection. Nevertheless, the literature selection cannot be considered exhaustive. Specific literature can be found by entering search words (using the magnifying glass at the top right) or by searching the table of contents.

Is important literature still missing? We would be very pleased to hear from you:

List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism