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Nutrición Hospitalaria

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


ACUNA, K. et al. Nutritional assessment of adult patients admitted to a hospital of the Amazon region. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2003, vol.18, n.3, pp.138-146. ISSN 1699-5198.

Changes in nutritional status are important in clinical practice because they relate to an increase in morbidity and mortality. Studies about nutritional problems in hospitalized adults have been reported since the 1970s. The prevalence of malnutrition has varied from 10 to 70%, depending on the diagnostic criteria used. The hospital studied and the duration of admission. Aim: To assess, in the first day of hospital stay, the nutritional status of adults admitted to undergo elective surgery in a public hospital of the State of Acre, Amazon Region, Brazil. Study design: Sectional study from April 7 to May 22, 2002. Patients and methods: 155 consecutive nutritional evaluations were performed using several parameters - global subjective assessment (GSA), anthropometric measurement and some laboratory tests. For the diagnosis of malnutrition the Index Suggestive of Malnutrition (ISM), as proposed by Waitzberg, was adopted. In the evaluation of obesity the BMI (Body Mass Index), with cutoffs suggested by WHO was used. Results: 75.2% were women. Average age was 34.4 ± 10.1 years. Mulatto (63.1%) was the prevailing racial group. Gynecological (43.6%) was the most frequent surgery. ISM disclosed a 12.1% prevalence of malnutrition. BMI classified 2.0% of the patients as grade I overweight and 15.4% as being obese. Among 76 patients classified as normal by BMI, 15 (19.7%) were considered malnourished by ISM criteria. Concordance between ISM and BMI was weak (k = 0.07). GSA classified 100% of the cases as well nourished. Conclusion: Lack of a golden standard to make the diagnosis of changes in nutritional status has been one of the determinants of the wide variations observed in the pertinent literature and it has hindred valid comparisons. The present study suggests that BMI should be used as an indicator of proportion and not of nutritional status. GSA underestimates the diagnosis of malnutrition. This paper concludes that establishing uniform standards for diagnostic criteria for malnutrition is urgently required and suggests preferring IMS (Index Suggestive of Malnutrition) because of its easy use, low coast and high sensitivity.

Keywords : Nutritional assessment; Nutritional evaluations.

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