Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
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Malnutrition is prevalent among 20-50% of hospitalized individuals, particularly among the elderly and those with chronic
disease. The co-existence of malnutrition in obese, newly hospitalized patients has not been evaluated. The present study
was designed to estimate malnutrition prevalence and characterize its manifestations among newly hospitalized overweight and
obese patients. In this cross-sectional survey, all adults newly admitted to internal medicine and surgical departments at E.
Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Israel, during the five-week data acquisition period, were screened for malnutrition risk using
the NRS 2002. An age-adjusted score of ≥ 3 on the NRS 2002 defined malnutrition. Malnutrition was compared across body
weight categories: underweight (BMI<18.5 kg/m
), normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.99 kg/m
), overweight (BMI 25-29.99 kg/m
and obese (BMI≥ 30 kg/m
). Overweight and obese subjects were compared by malnutrition status. A total of 431 individuals
were analyzed, of whom 243 were identified as overweight/obese (BMI≥25 kg/m
). Of these, 58 (23.9%) were identified as
malnourished. Compared to adequately nourished subjects, malnourished overweight/obese patients had significantly longer
hospital stay: 11.7?18.9 (median 5, 1-123 days) vs. 5.3?6.7 (median 4, 0-65 days), (p=0.001). In-hospital mortality was 6.9%
among malnourished vs. 0.5% among adequately nourished overweight/obese patients, p=0.003. Malnutrition increased duration
of hospitalization and in-hospital mortality risk in both overweight/obese and normal weight patients. Malnutrition is a frequent
finding in newly hospitalized overweight/obese adults. Elevated BMI does not affect the duration of hospitalization and in-
hospital mortality rates are similar for normal weight and overweight/obese individuals.
Principal investigator Dr. Mona Boaz heads the Epidemiology and Research Unit at E. Wolfson Medical Center and is a Sr. Lecturer at Ariel
University Center and Tel Aviv University. She has published more than 120 scientific papers.
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