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November 11, 1974

Protein Status of General Surgical Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (Drs. Bistrian and Blackburn), and the Department of Surgery (Drs. Bistrian, Blackburn, and Heddle and Mr. Hallowell), Boston City Hospital, and the Harvard Medical School (Dr. Blackburn), Boston.

JAMA. 1974;230(6):858-860. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240060028025

In a survey of the protein nutritional status of all patients on the surgical wards of an urban municipal hospital, accepted standards indicated moderate to severe protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM) in one half of these patients as judged by triceps skin fold and arm muscle circumference measurements. Weight for height was less severely affected. Although serum albumin levels were recorded in only 43% during the perisurvey periods, the correlation between arm muscle circumference and serum albumin level was highly significant, suggesting that this measurement would substantiate a rate of approximately 50% malnutrition.

(JAMA 230:858-860, 1974)