Undernutrition Screening Survey in 564,063 patients:patients with a Positive Malnutrition Screening Score Stay in Hospital 1.4 Day Longer

H Kruizenga, S van Keeken, P Weijs, S Beijer, G Huisman-de Waal, H Jager-Wittenaar, C Jonkers-Schuitema, M Klos, W Remijnse-Meester, B Witteman, A Thijs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Rationale: In The Netherlands, screening on malnutrition is common practice in hospitals, using the Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (SNAQ) or the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST). Using the screening data of 14 hospitals of 2007-2014 two questions were answered: 1. What is the percentage of patients with screening score “malnutrition” in the general hospital population and per medical specialism? 2. Are SNAQ/MUST score and Length of Hospital Stay (LOS) related? Methods: All adult inpatients (≥18 y) of two university, three teaching and nine general hospitals, with a LOS of at least 1 day were included. SNAQ/MUST score, admitting medical specialism, LOS, age and sex were extracted from the digital hospital chart system. Since LOS was skewed to the right, natural logarithmic transformation was applied to distribute the data more normal. Regression analysis with LnLOS as a dependent variable and SNAQ ≥3 points/MUST ≥2 points and age as independent variables, was used to test the relation between SNAQ/MUST score and LOS. Results: 505,145 patients were included (48% male, age 62±18). 71% (360,168) were screened with SNAQ and 29% (144,977) with MUST. 14.2% of the patients had a screening score “malnourished” (SNAQ 13.9%; MUST 14.9%). Medical specialisms with the highest percentage of screening score “malnourished” were Geriatrics (36%), Oncology (28%), Gastroenterology (26%) and Internal medicine (22%). Patients with screening score “malnourished” had a higher LOS [median 6 days vs. screening “not malnourished” median 4 days (P <0.001)]. Regression analysis pointed out that SNAQ/MUST screening result is a significant determinant of LOS (SNAQ: +1.44, p <0.001; MUST: +1.47, p <0.001). Conclusion: In a large hospital population 14.2% of the population had a screening score “malnourished”. LOS of these patients was 1.4 days longer than “well-nourished” screened patients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this