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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


MIAS, C. et al. Assessment of the nutritional status of elderly patients treated at a home-hospital unit. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2003, vol.18, n.1, pp.6-14. ISSN 1699-5198.

Goals. To establish the nutritional status of our elderly patients, assess the usefulness of the various anthropometric and biochemical parameters as markers of malnutrition and to determine which of the variables studied have the greatest correlation with malnutrition. Scope: Home Hospital Unit of the Arnau de Vilanova Teaching Hospital in Lerida. Patients: 57 patients ≥ 60 years. Mean admission to our unit: 12.1 days. Variables: Age, sex, groups by treatment complexity, associated pathology, diagnosis, reason for admission, duration of stay in hospital, surgery performed, complications during the stay at the Home Hospital Unit, weight, height, PCT, AC, BMI, albumin, haemoglobin and RTL. Results: Patients of great age present lower levels of serum albumin (p < 0.005), total proteins (p < 0.001), transferrin (p < 0.03), haemoglobin (p < 0.02) and RTL (p < 0.04) than "younger" elderly patients. Serum albumin and haemoglobin are lower in patients in a complicated post-surgical condition (p < 0.04 and p < 0.02, respectively) and this group is the one with the longest stays (p < 0.001). Those patients with hypoalbuminaemia (74.1%) present lower PCT and RTL (p < 0.02) and a longer stay in hospital (p < 0.01) than those with normal levels of albumin in blood. Patients with anaemia (63.3%) present a lower RTL (p < 0.01) and a greater hospitalization time than those without anaemia. Total proteins (p < 0.0001), albumin (p < 0.004), transferrin (p < 0.003) and RTL (p < 0.005) correlate negatively with age. Albumin (p < 0.001), haemoglobin (p < 0.006) and RTL (p < 0.0001) present a negative correlation with length of hospital stay. Conclusion: The prevalence of global malnutrition is high (51% moderate-severe). The nutritional status worsens with age. The length of hospitalization increases gradually with age, with deterioration in the nutritional status and with complexity of the treatment provided.

Keywords : Elderly patients; Home-Hospital Unit; Length of hospital stay; Malnutrition; Nutritional status.

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