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Low caloric intake predicted mortality for geriatric patients in hospital

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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 …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr R A Incalzi, Istituto di Medicina e Geriatria dell'Universita' Cattolica, Policlinico A Gemelli, Largo A Gemelli 8, 00168 Roma, Italy. Fax +39 6 305 1911.