Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malnutrition: A skeleton in the health care closet

Date:
February 8, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Many elderly Australians are either admitted to hospital suffering malnutrition, or become malnourished while in hospital, which increases hospital length of stay and health care costs. According to one expert, malnutrition often goes undiagnosed and untreated as it is not considered a clinical priority in hospitals and aged care settings.

Many elderly Australians are either admitted to hospital suffering malnutrition, or become malnourished while in hospital, which increases hospital length of stay and health care costs.

Related Articles


In her lead article in the Dietitians Association of Australia's journal, Nutrition & Dietetics, Dr Karen Charlton said malnutrition often goes undiagnosed and untreated as it is not considered a clinical priority in hospitals and aged care settings.

Australian research has revealed more than one in three hospitals patients are malnourished and the rates can be as high as 70 per cent in residential aged carei.

In one Melbourne hospital alone, a study of 275 patients found 90 per cent of patients were malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, based on measures such as weight and appetiteii. The study found only 15 per cent of malnourished patients were correctly picked up by hospital staff as being malnourished -- and less than half of these were referred to a dietitian.

Dr Charlton said the results were consistent with a recent study conducted in Finland among elderly patients in long-term hospital careiii. In this study, nurses considered only 15 per cent of the patients to be malnourished, while close to 60 per cent were actually malnourished.

"This is a serious concern and is the skeleton in the closest of many Australian hospitals," said Dr Charlton, an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

She said malnourished patients are more likely to suffer pressure ulcers and infections, and have slower recovery rates.

A recent Australian study involving older patients admitted to rehabilitation hospitals over a five year period found that malnourished and at risk patients stayed in hospital for an average of 18.5 days, compared with 12.4 days for their well-nourished counterpartsiv.

"We need to better educate nursing and medical staff to look at factors that may affect a person's risk of malnutrition, such as weight loss, reduced appetite, medications, length of stay and lack of support to eat.

"And screening is only the tip of the iceberg. We need to start treating 'food as medicine' and dietitians are key advocates for this process," said Dr Charlton.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karen Charlton. Nutrition screening: Time to address the skeletons in the bedroom closet as well as those in hospitals. Nutrition & Dietetics, 2010; 67 (4): 209 DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2010.01464.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Malnutrition: A skeleton in the health care closet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208101322.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, February 8). Malnutrition: A skeleton in the health care closet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208101322.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Malnutrition: A skeleton in the health care closet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208101322.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins