Abbott's Clinical Study: Disease-Related Malnutrition

Malnutrition is common across varying patient populations, particularly older adults, and sarcopenia prevalence increases with advancing age.

Both disease-related malnutrition and sarcopenia are associated with substantial adverse outcomes affecting both the patient and the healthcare system, including increased morbidity, mortality, rehospitalization rates, and healthcare costs. Healthcare professionals may assess patients for either malnutrition or sarcopenia; however, both conditions are clinically present in many patients. Clinicians are urged to screen, assess and treat these conditions currently so as to adequately address the full spectrum of patients’ nutritional issues.

Malnutrition is a global, clinical and public health issue. Malnutrition is common, under-recognized, and under-treated. 1Unfortunately, few improvements have been made in preventing and treating malnutrition since the problem was first highlighted in the medical literature in the 1974 article by Dr. Charles E. Butterworth ‘The Skeleton in the Hospital Closet’. This landmark article addressed the often overlooked issue of malnutrition in US hospitals.2

A recent committee comprised of experts involved with the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) and European Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) proposed new nomenclature for nutrition diagnosis in adult patients in the clinical setting.3 These definitions included “starvation-related malnutrition”, when there is chronic starvation without inflammation, “chronic disease-related malnutrition”, when inflammation is chronic and of mild to moderate degree, and “acute disease or injury-related malnutrition”, when inflammation is acute and of severe degree.3

The prevalence of malnutrition ranges by healthcare setting and patient population, however, malnutrition is common in certain populations. These populations include the elderly, surgical patients, patients with certain chronic medical conditions such as cancer, as well as patients who are ill in the hospital, long-term care facilities, as well as in the community.

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