BACKGROUND & AIMS: Consensus on the definition of malnutrition has not yet been reached. Recently, The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) proposed a consensus definition of malnutrition. The aim of the present study was to describe the prevalence of malnutrition according to the ESPEN definition in four diverse populations.
METHODS: In total, 349 acutely ill middle-aged patients, 135 geriatric outpatients, 306 healthy old individuals and 179 healthy young individuals were included in the study. Subjects were screened for risk of malnutrition using the SNAQ. The ESPEN definition of malnutrition, i.e. low BMI (< 18.5 kg/m(2)) or a combination of unintentional weight loss and low FFMI or low BMI was applied to all subjects.
RESULTS: Screening identified 0, 0.5, 10 and 30% of the healthy young, the healthy old, the geriatric outpatients and the acutely ill middle-aged patients as being at risk of malnutrition. The prevalence of malnutrition ranged from 0% in the healthy young, 0.5% in healthy old individuals, 6% in the geriatric outpatients to 14% in the acutely ill middle-aged patients. Prevalence of low FFMI was observed in all four populations (14-33%), but concurred less frequently with weight loss (0-13%).
CONCLUSIONS: Using the ESPEN definition, 0%-14% malnutrition was found in the diverse populations. Further work is needed to fully address the validity of a two-step approach, including risk assessment as an initial step in screening and defining malnutrition. Furthermore, assessing the predictive validity of the ESPEN definition is needed.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.
- Acute Disease
- Body Composition
- Body Mass Index
- Elder Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
- Geriatric Assessment
- Middle Aged
- Nutrition Assessment
- Nutritional Sciences/methods
- Nutritional Status
- Practice Guidelines as Topic
- Risk Assessment
- Societies, Scientific
- Young Adult