Evid Based Nurs 2:26 doi:10.1136/ebn.2.1.26
  • Causation

Low caloric intake predicted mortality for geriatric patients in hospital

 Question Do geriatric patients in hospital ingest adequate calories and does inadequate caloric intake increase the risk of death?


Cohort study.


Acute care university hospital in Rome, Italy.


370 patients ≥70 years of age (mean age 79 y, 56% women) who were admitted to the surgical ward for elective abdominal surgery (n=86); or admitted for acute medical problems to the geriatric ward (n=135) or internal medicine ward (n=149). Patients who gave incomplete dietary information, had terminal illness, or had morbid obesity were excluded.

Assessment of risk factors

Body mass index (BMI), per cent ideal weight, mid arm circumference, serum albumin, serum lymphocytes, and serum haemoglobin (on admission and discharge); and age, preadmission dependency in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), depression (Geriatric Depression Scale), cognitive status (Mini Mental Status Examination), and comorbidity (Charlson index) (on admission).

Main outcome measures

Adequate caloric intake was based on an energy requirement of 1.65 times the basal metabolic rate; …

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