Association of Nutritional Risk and Adverse Medical Outcomes Across Different Medical Inpatient Populations

Nutrition. Nov-Dec 2015; 31(11-12):1385-93. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.06.007. Epub 2015 Jul 20.
Felder, S., Lechtenboehmer, C., Bally, M., Fehr, R., Deiss, M., Faessler, L., Kutz, A., Steiner, D., Rast, A. C., Laukemann, S., Kulkarni, P., Stanga, Z., Haubitz, S., Huber, A., Mueller, B., & Schuetz, P.


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of nutritional risk and its association with multiple adverse clinical outcomes in a large cohort of acutely ill medical inpatients from a Swiss tertiary care hospital.

Methods: We prospectively followed consecutive adult medical inpatients for 30 d. Multivariate regression models were used to investigate the association of the initial Nutritional Risk Score (NRS 2002) with mortality, impairment in activities of daily living (Barthel Index <95 points), hospital length of stay, hospital readmission rates, and quality of life (QoL; adapted from EQ5 D); all parameters were measured at 30 d.

Results: Of 3186 patients (mean age 71 y, 44.7% women), 887 (27.8%) were at risk for malnutrition with an NRS ≥3 points. We found strong associations (odds ratio/hazard ratio [OR/HR], 95% confidence interval [CI]) between nutritional risk and mortality (OR/HR, 7.82; 95% CI, 6.04-10.12), impaired Barthel Index (OR/HR, 2.56; 95% CI, 2.12-3.09), time to hospital discharge (OR/HR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.43-0.52), hospital readmission (OR/HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.08-1.97), and all five dimensions of QoL measures. Associations remained significant after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, comorbidities, and medical diagnoses. Results were robust in subgroup analysis with evidence of effect modification (P for interaction < 0.05) based on age and main diagnosis groups.

Conclusion: Nutritional risk is significant in acutely ill medical inpatients and is associated with increased medical resource use, adverse clinical outcomes, and impairments in functional ability and QoL. Randomized trials are needed to evaluate evidence-based preventive and treatment strategies focusing on nutritional factors to improve outcomes in these high-risk 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