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Nutritional status and clinical outcomes of older patients in rehabilitation

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Abstract Background 

Malnutrition is associated with poor outcomes in older adults and those admitted to rehabilitation may be particularly at risk. Objective 

To assess the nutritional status and outcomes of older adults in rehabilitation. Subjectsandmethods 

We recruited 133 adults ≥65 years from consecutive rehabilitation admissions. Nutritional status was assessed using the mini nutritional assessment, body mass index (BMI) and corrected arm muscle area (CAMA). Outcomes measured included length of stay, admission to higher level care, function and quality of life (QOL). Results 

Sixty-two (47%) subjects were well nourished, 63 (47%) at risk of malnutrition and eight (6%) malnourished. Twenty-two (17%) and 27 (20%) were below the desirable reference values for BMI and CAMA respectively. Subjects at risk of malnutrition/malnourished had longer length of stay (P = 0.023) and were more likely to be admitted to higher level care (P < 0.05). These subjects also had poorer function on admission (P < 0.001) and 90 days (P = 0.002) and QOL on admission (P < 0.008) and 90 days (P = 0.001). Those with low CAMA were twice as likely to be admitted to higher level care (P < 0.05) and had poorer function at 90 days (P = 0.017). Conclusions 

Over half our sample was identified as at risk of malnutrition or malnourished and this was associated with poorer clinical outcomes.
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Keywords: aged; function; nutritional status; quality of Life; rehabilitation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Rehabilitation and Aged Care 2: Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, Australia

Publication date: 2005-04-01

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