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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 924270, 8 pages
Research Article

Prognostic Indices of Poor Nutritional Status and Their Impact on Prolonged Hospital Stay in a Greek University Hospital

1Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54636 Thessaloniki, Greece
2Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54636 Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 2 February 2014; Accepted 22 February 2014; Published 23 March 2014

Academic Editor: Salvatore Battaglia

Copyright © 2014 Georgia Tsaousi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. To ascertain the potential contributors to nutritional risk manifestation and to disclose the factors exerting a negative impact on hospital length of stay (LOS), by means of poor nutritional status, in a nonselected hospitalized population. Materials and Methods. NutritionDay project questionnaires were applied to 295 adult patients. Study parameters included anthropometric data, demographics, medical history, dietary-related factors, and self-perception of health status. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) were calculated for each participant. MUST score was applied for malnutrition assessment, while hospital LOS constituted the outcome of interest. Results. Of the total cohort, 42.3% were at nutritional risk and 21.4% malnourished. Age, gender, BMI, MUST score, autonomy, health quality, appetite, quantity of food intake, weight loss, arm or calf perimeter ( , for all), and dietary type ( ) affected nutritional status. Poor nutrition status ( ), deteriorated appetite ( ) or food intake ( ), limited autonomy ( ), artificial nutrition ( ), weight loss ( ), and arm circumference <21 cm ( ) were the most powerful predictors of hospital LOS >7 days. Conclusion. Nutritional status and nutrition-related parameters such as weight loss, quantity of food intake, appetite, arm circumference, dietary type, and extent of dependence confer considerable prognostic value regarding hospital LOS in acute care setting.