Malnutrition and poor food intake are associated with prolonged hospital stay, frequent readmissions, and greater in-hospital mortality: results from the Nutrition Care Day Survey 2010

Ekta Agarwal, Maree Ferguson, Merrilyn Banks, Marijka Batterham, Judith Bauer, Sandra Capra, Elisabeth Isenring

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BACKGROUND & AIMS: The Australasian Nutrition Care Day Survey (ANCDS) ascertained if malnutrition and poor food intake are independent risk factors for health-related outcomes in Australian and New Zealand hospital patients.

METHODS: Phase 1 recorded nutritional status (Subjective Global Assessment) and 24-h food intake (0, 25, 50, 75, 100% intake). Outcomes data (Phase 2) were collected 90-days post-Phase 1 and included length of hospital stay (LOS), readmissions and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS: Of 3122 participants (47% females, 65 ± 18 years) from 56 hospitals, 32% were malnourished and 23% consumed ≤ 25% of the offered food. Malnourished patients had greater median LOS (15 days vs. 10 days, p < 0.0001) and readmissions rates (36% vs. 30%, p = 0.001). Median LOS for patients consuming ≤ 25% of the food was higher than those consuming ≤ 50% (13 vs. 11 days, p < 0.0001). The odds of 90-day in-hospital mortality were twice greater for malnourished patients (CI: 1.09-3.34, p = 0.023) and those consuming ≤ 25% of the offered food (CI: 1.13-3.51, p = 0.017), respectively.

CONCLUSION: The ANCDS establishes that malnutrition and poor food intake are independently associated with in-hospital mortality in the Australian and New Zealand acute care setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-45
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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