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Article
January 23, 1987

Criteria for the Diagnosis of Malnutrition

Author Affiliations

Johnston R. Bowman Health Center for the Elderly Chicago

Johnston R. Bowman Health Center for the Elderly Chicago

JAMA. 1987;257(4):486-487. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390040102022
Abstract

To the Editor.—  The art and science of nutritional assessment requires an awareness of who may be at nutritional risk, as well as understanding of the physical signs and symptoms of undernutrition and the effects of medications and underlying diseases on nutritional status. Two recent JAMA articles demonstrate this point clearly. In the first,1 the serum albumin level was used as the sole indicator of nutritional status in individuals with adenomatous polyps and colon cancer. The serum albumin level was used as the covariate to correct the serum cholesterol level for malnutrition. The authors concluded that the low cholesterol levels observed during these conditions are consequences, rather than predictors, of the diseases.The difficulty of using serum protein levels as nutritional markers was pointed out by Craig2 in a letter regarding the first article. He stated that determination of nutritional status without an appreciation of the impact of

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