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Medicina Interna

Print version ISSN 0872-671X


ARDERIUS, Miguel et al. Nutritional Status as a Risk Factor in a Cohort of Geriatric Patients in a Specialized Convalescence Unit. Medicina Interna [online]. 2020, vol.27, n.3, pp.4-9. ISSN 0872-671X.

Introduction: Malnutrition is frequent in the elderly and is a healthcare problem. Our objective was to characterize the elderly population admitted to a convalescence unit and relate the nutritional status on admission with functional and health-related outcomes. Methods: All patients over 65 years old admitted to a convalescence unit during an 18-month period were analysed in regard to nutritional, functional and socio-familial status, risk of falling and risk of developing pressure ulcers. Results: Hundred eighty one patients, 57.5% females, aged 80.0±7.1 years old were included. Mini Nutritional Assessment classified 1/3 as undernourished and 66.3% as at risk for malnutrition. The great majority did not have a good socio-familial situation. Almost 2/3 had high risk of falling. Over 80% had no or mild risk for developing pressure ulcers. Over half were discharged home. Moderate correlations were found between nutritional status and both dependence for activities of daily living (ADL) and risk of developing pressure ulcers. Discussion: We found a high incidence of malnutrition, dependence for ADL, socio-familial problems and high risk of falling. We found a statistically significant relation between nutritional status and risk of developing pressure ulcers, constituting an important alert that nutritional evaluation and support may have a crucial role in people’s quality of life. Conclusion: Our findings are concerning and support the recommendations to routinely screen for  malnutrition  and provide nutritional support in all healthcare settings. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first survey of malnutrition and its implications carried out in a Portuguese convalescence unit.

Keywords : Accidental Falls; Aged; Convalescence; Geriatrics; Hospital Units; Malnutrition; Nutrition Assessment; Pressure Ulcers; Socioeconomic Factors.

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