Clinical and Economic Outcomes Associated with Malnutrition in Hospitalized Patients1

Publish Date: 1 June 2018
Author(s): Álvaro J. Ruiz, Giancarlo Buitrago, Nelcy Rodríguez, Gabriel Gómez, Suela Sulo, Carlos Gómez, Jamie Partridge, Juan Misas, Rodolfo Dennis, Magda Jeannette Alba, Walter Chaves-Santiago, Carolina Araque


  • This multicenter prospective observational study investigated the prevalence of malnutrition and its impact on health and economic outcomes of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, community-acquired pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or acute myocardial infarction, admitted to four university hospitals in Bogotá, Colombia.1
  • Upon admission to the hospital, patients 18 years and older were screened for malnutrition using the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST) and divided into two cohorts based on the presence or absence of malnutrition: MST+ (MST score ≥2), and MST- (MST score <2).
  • A total of 800 patients were included and followed until hospital discharge, and 745 patients were contacted within 30 days of hospital discharge.
  • The prevalence of a positive MST result at the time of hospital admission was 24.62%. Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) were administered to only 5% of patients.
  • Malnutrition was associated with a longer hospital length of stay, higher rates of mortality during hospitalization and 30 days following hospital discharge, and increased cost of hospitalization.
  • These findings underscore the need for improved diagnosis and treatment of hospital malnutrition to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

1Ruiz AJ, et al. Clin Nutr. 2018;S0261-5614(18)30201-2.

Author Bios



Pontificia Universidad Javeriana; Bogotá, Colombia
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