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Nutrición Hospitalaria

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


GUTIERREZ REYES, J. G.; SERRALDE ZUNIGA, A.  and  GUEVARA CRUZ, M.. Prevalence of hyponutrition in the elderly at admission to the hospital. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.6, pp.702-709. ISSN 1699-5198.

Background: The population older than 60 years in Mexico is growing changing the classic pyramidal demographic structure. This fact is increasing the risk of malnutrition in the elderly, specially under nutrition which is a common problem among elderly people living at home and during hospitalizations, condition that is closely related to the increasing of morbidity, mortality and costs. Objective: Describe the prevalence of malnourished elderly who needs hospital admission. Design: Cross-sectional observational study. Setting: Third-level reference hospital. Subjects: Ninety seven consecutive subjects older than 60 years admitted to hospitalization. Interventions: During the first three days of admission all subjects were evaluated to determine their nutritional status using Mini Nutritional Assessment and Subjective Global Assessment; albumin, total lymphocytes, level of income and school grade were also included. Results: Just 48% of patients have finished primary school and 66% had middle economic incomes. According to Mini Nutritional Assessment 69% of patients had risk associated to malnutrition (18% at high risk and 50% at moderate risk). The short form of the Mini Nutritional Assessment described 73% of patients at risk related to malnutrition in correlation with the complete Mini Nutritional Assessment. 46% and 20% of patients were classified at moderate malnutrition and severe malnutrition respectively using the Subjective Global Assessment. Kappa between Mini Nutritional Assessment and Subjective Global Assessment was of 42%. The Nutritional Risk Index mean value was of 85.9 ± 11, with 80% of patients at risk associated with malnutrition when moderate and severe risk was included. Kappa between Nutritional Risk Index and Mini Nutritional Assessment was 11%. 70% of patients had serum albumin values under 3 g/dl. According to Chang's method 52% had caloric undernutrition, 29% protein undernutrition and 18% mixed undernutrition. Conclusions: Malnutrition is a common problem in elderly population at hospital admissions according to different methods used. Mini Nutritional Assessment and Subjective Global Assessment are useful low cost and replicable nutritional evaluation tools in elderly population. Mini Nutritional Assessment could have a better value to predict morbidity and mortality in institutionalized and community elderly subjects.

Keywords : Malnutrition; Elderly; Mini nutritional assessment; Subjective global assessment.

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