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Relationship between nutritional status and frailty in hospitalized older patients

Authors Hong X, Yan J, Xu L, Shen S, Zeng X, Chen L

Received 28 September 2018

Accepted for publication 15 December 2018

Published 10 January 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 105—111


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Zhi-Ying Wu

Xiufang Hong,1,2 Jing Yan,1 Liyu Xu,1 Shanshan Shen,1 Xingkun Zeng,1 Lingyan Chen1

1Department of Geriatrics, Zhejiang Hospital, Hangzhou 310013, People’s Republic of China; 2The Second School of Medicine, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, People’s Republic of China

Objective: The definition of frailty still lacks quantitative biomarkers. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between nutrition-related biomarkers and frailty in hospitalized older patients.
Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study including 380 hospitalized older patients. The patients were categorized as nonfrail (n=140), prefrail (n=81), and frail (n=159) by the criteria of frailty phenotype. The nutritional status was assessed using the mini nutritional assessment-short form (MNA-SF), levels of serum transferrin (TNF), prealbumin (PA), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), retinol-binding protein (RBP), and hemoglobin (Hb).
Results: The grip strength, levels of serum TFN, TP, ALB, Hb, and MNA-SF scores all decreased significantly in the order of nonfrail, prefrail, and frail groups (P<0.01). Older ages, more fall incidents, and higher polypharmacy ratio were observed in the frail and prefrail groups than in the nonfrail group (P<0.05). Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that frailty was positively related to age, polypharmacy, fall history, nutritional status, levels of TFN, PA, TP, ALB, RBP, and Hb, but was negatively related to grip strength. Ordinal logistic regression analysis showed that older patients who were well nourished, with higher levels of TFN, TP, and ALB were less likely to develop into frailty.
Conclusion: Hospitalized older patients with better nutritional status and higher levels of TFN, TP, and ALB were less likely to develop into frailty. These nutrition-related biomarkers may be used for the evaluation of nutritional status and frailty in older patients.

Keywords: frailty, nutrition, malnutrition, frailty phenotype, elderly

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