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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


ARIAS, S. et al. Identification and early nutritional support in hospitalized malnourished patients. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.4, pp.348-353. ISSN 0212-1611.

Introduction: The prevalence of hyponutrition in hospitalized patients in our setting is 53%. The therapeutic approach is controversial. Objectives: To determine whether an early nutritional intervention in hospitalized patients by means of oral nutritional support can improve their prognosis regarding decreased morbimortality and hospital stay. Material and methods: Randomized prospective study comprised by a treatment group and a control group of malnourished patients hospitalized at the Internal Medicine and Respiratory Medicine Departments. The nutritional diagnosis was made by using the Subjective Global Assessment. Groups B and C were assigned to receive the hospital diet according to their needs and pathology (control group) and the treatment group also received a standard nutritional supplement. We recorded the development of infections, pressure ulcers, hospitalization days, mortality, and weight. Results: We performed more than 1,700 Subjective Global Assessments. Five hundred and thirty seven patients (264 treated and 273 controls) were followed-up until hospital discharge or death. We did not find statistically significant differences in mortality, hospital stay, or occurrence of complications between the treatment group and the control group. The treatment group presented statistically significant weight increase as compared with the control group. Conclusions: We could not demonstrate benefits when using the oral nutritional supplement in terms of mortality, hospital stay, infectious complications, or pressure ulcers. The significant weight increase in the treatment group allowed us concluding that the supplement effectively treated hyponutrition in this group. This new clinical status implies a better prognosis, as it has already been shown. However, this could not be observed by means of the study parameters. Long-term studies are required to determine for how long this nutritional improvement can be sustained, implying a better prognosis in the long run.

Palabras clave : Hospital hyponutrition; Oral nutritional supplement.

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