Malnutrition in elderly hospital patients and its effects

Malnutrition in elderly hospital patients and its effects

Issues on malnutrition among geriatric in hospital setting are never ending although various studies reported the negative implications on patient and the healthcare system. We review the literature on hospitalized geriatric malnutrition from the perspective of its prevalence, identification and implication on patients and healthcare cost. As reported in the worldwide studies, its prevalence ranges from 12% to 75% and Malaysia is reaching 48% to 55%. Poor clinical prognosis, impaired functional status, longer hospitalization, increased in morbidity and mortality had been identified as significant implications which associated with malnutrition among hospitalized geriatric. Due to the disease ageing factors, the golden age group is especially prone to the negative impacts from nutritional depletion. The identification hospitalised geriatric malnutrition remains poor and no standard procedure is available for proper documentation due to the lack of awareness among healthcare professionals although malnutrition is reported to be closely associated to higher total hospitalization cost charges compared to well nourished patient. Malnutrition remains a hidden cost factor unaccounted for in the costing analysis for the total geriatric care in the hospital care setting. It is therefore, crucial to highlight on nutritional screening issue and emphasise on the early assessment of patient at risk prior to introduce appropriate intervention and documentation. This could prevent nutritional deterioration and improve the clinical condition while minimising financial burden due to malnutritio………..

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