Malnourished patients carry significantly higher risk of readmission

Patients suffering from malnutrition are more than 50 percent more likely to be readmitted within the first 30 days of hospital discharge, according to new research.

The findings were published in a new statistical brief co-authored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and Baxter International.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Readmissions Database. The study was a response to a congressional request for malnutrition research. Researchers determined the overall cost of malnourished-related readmissions to be nearly $17,000 per patient.

"It's concerning readmission rates are so frequently associated with malnutrition. While the study looked at U.S. statistics, this is a global healthcare issue," said Mary Hise Brown, PhD, senior medical director with Baxter and co-author of the statistical brief. "From both a patient outcomes and healthcare cost perspective, these data point to the critically important need to properly diagnose and treat at-risk patients with nutritional needs during their hospital stay."

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