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Assessing the nutritional status of hospitalized elderly

Authors Abd Aziz NAS, Teng NIMF, Abdul Hamid MR, Ismail NH

Received 2 May 2017

Accepted for publication 8 June 2017

Published 4 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1615—1625

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S140859

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Nur Adilah Shuhada Abd Aziz, Nur Islami Mohd Fahmi Teng, Mohd Ramadan Abdul Hamid, Nazrul Hadi Ismail

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Malaysia

Purpose: The increasing number of elderly people worldwide throughout the years is concerning due to the health problems often faced by this population. This review aims to summarize the nutritional status among hospitalized elderly and the role of the nutritional assessment tools in this issue.
Methods: A literature search was performed on six databases using the terms “malnutrition”, “hospitalised elderly”, “nutritional assessment”, “Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA)”, “Geriatric Nutrition Risk Index (GNRI)”, and “Subjective Global Assessment (SGA)”.
Results: According to the previous studies, the prevalence of malnutrition among hospitalized elderly shows an increasing trend not only locally but also across the world. Under-recognition of malnutrition causes the number of malnourished hospitalized elderly to remain high throughout the years. Thus, the development of nutritional screening and assessment tools has been widely studied, and these tools are readily available nowadays. SGA, MNA, and GNRI are the nutritional assessment tools developed specifically for the elderly and are well validated in most countries. However, to date, there is no single tool that can be considered as the universal gold standard for the diagnosis of nutritional status in hospitalized patients.
Conclusion: It is important to identify which nutritional assessment tool is suitable to be used in this group to ensure that a structured assessment and documentation of nutritional status can be established. An early and accurate identification of the appropriate treatment of malnutrition can be done as soon as possible, and thus, the malnutrition rate among this group can be minimized in the future.

Keywords: malnutrition in elderly, nutritional assessment, MNA, GNRI, SGA

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