Malnutrition point-prevalence from 2012 to 2019 and associated health-outcomes in adult patients in rural hospitals

Eloisa Lopez, Mark Banbury, Elisabeth Isenring, Skye Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background and aims: Malnutrition negatively impacts hospitalised patients and the healthcare system. In adult patients admitted to three rural hospitals in northern New South Wales, Australia, the aims of this study were to: 1) report point-prevalence of malnutrition from 2012 to 2019; and 2) determine if there was an association between nutrition status and health-related outcomes. Methods: The point-prevalence of malnutrition was determined by three (2012, 2014, and 2019) cross-sectional studies which assessed nutrition status with the Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) tool. Health-related outcomes, assessed by a prospective cohort study in 2014, were length of stay, in-hospital mortality, hospital readmission, infection, falls, fractures, and pressure wounds. Results: Malnutrition point prevalence was 39% in 2012 (n=62), 48% in 2014 (n=128), and 28% in 2019 (n=96); where the prevalence in 2019 was significantly lower than in 2014 (p<0.017). The 2019 (median age 70 years) sample was younger than the 2012 (median age 80 years) and 2014 (median age 78 years) samples (p<0.05). Mortality rate was higher in the malnourished participants (p=0.059); and severe malnutrition may predict mortality (OR: 3.47 (95%CI: 0.94, 12.78] p=0.061). Conclusions: Nutrition status did not predict other health-related outcomes. The rate of malnutrition in rural hospitals in Australia was consistently high and is increased risk of in-hospital mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalJARCP: The Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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