Published online Jul 15, 2016. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v8.i7.563
Peer-review started: December 24, 2015
First decision: January 20, 2016
Revised: March 23, 2016
Accepted: April 20, 2016
Article in press: April 22, 2016
Published online: July 15, 2016
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of undernutrition, risk of malnutrition and obesity in the Italian gastroenterological population.
METHODS: The Italian Hospital Gastroenterology Association conducted an observational, cross-sectional multicenter study. Weight, weight loss, and body mass index were evaluated. Undernutrition was defined as unintentional weight loss > 10% in the last three-six months. Values of Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) > 2, NRS-2002 > 3, and Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) from 17 to 25 identified risk of malnutrition in outpatients, inpatients and elderly patients, respectively. A body mass index ≥ 30 indicated obesity. Gastrointestinal pathologies were categorized into acute, chronic and neoplastic diseases.
RESULTS: A total of 513 patients participated in the study. The prevalence of undernutrition was 4.6% in outpatients and 19.6% in inpatients. Moreover, undernutrition was present in 4.3% of the gastrointestinal patients with chronic disease, 11.0% of those with acute disease, and 17.6% of those with cancer. The risk of malnutrition increased progressively and significantly in chronic, acute and neoplastic gastrointestinal diseases in inpatients and the elderly population. Logistical regression analysis confirmed that cancer was a risk factor for undernutrition (OR = 2.7; 95%CI: 1.2-6.44, P = 0.02). Obesity and overweight were more frequent in outpatients.
CONCLUSION: More than 63% of outpatients and 80% of inpatients in gastroenterological centers suffered from significant changes in body composition and required specific nutritional competence and treatment.
Core tip: The relevance of this study concerns the finding that in patients with gastroenterological disease, both prevalence of undernutrition and risk of malnutrition were higher in patients admitted to the hospital and in patients with cancer disease, while obesity and overweight were more frequently detected in outpatients. In conclusion, we can attest that two-thirds of gastroenterological patients suffered from abnormalities in body composition and required targeted nutritional treatments.