Surgical patients constitute a group of individuals who are commonly underdiagnosed and undertreated, where nutritional impairment can be either a preexisting finding or a result of the hypercatabolic and hypermetabolic state.
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of malnutrition, according to the GLIM criteria, and its association with clinical and nutritional factors, in individuals admitted to a surgical unit of a general hospital.
A cross-sectional, retrospective study was conducted, involving patients in the preoperative period due to gastrointestinal diseases. Demographic, clinical, and nutritional data were collected from adult and elderly patients admitted to a surgical unit between March and December 2019. Nutritional risk was assessed using the Nutritional Risk Screening tool (NRS-2002). The prevalence of malnutrition was found using the GLIM criteria. Binary logistic regression modeling was performed to determine the association between the diagnosis of malnutrition using the GLIM method and clinical and nutritional variables.
The majority of the sample presented nutritional risk (50.2%) according to the NRS-2002. The prevalence of malnutrition according to the GLIM criteria was 32.3%, with severe malnutrition being predominant (21.2%) in all age groups. There was an association between malnutrition and nutritional risk detected by the NRS-2002 (OR: 5.791; 95%CI 3.201-10.478). There was a predominance of patients undergoing cancer surgery (64%) and these patients were more likely to be diagnosed with malnutrition (OR: 2.068; 95%CI: 1.161-3.683), after statistical adjustment.
An important prevalence of nutritional risk assessed by the NRS-2002 and of malnutrition assessed by the GLIM method was identified, especially in its severe form. In addition, preoperative patients with nutritional risk, as detected using the NRS-2002 nutritional screening tool, and candidates for oncologic surgery are more likely to be diagnosed as malnourished using the GLIM criteria.
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