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May 2, 1980

Protein-Calorie Malnutrition in a Community Hospital

JAMA. 1980;243(17):1720-1722. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300430022015

An assessment of protein-calorie status was performed on 200 consecutive adult nonobstetric admissions to a private hospital from two group family practices. Anthropometric measurements, serum albumin level, and total lymphocyte count were determined at admission and weekly if the patient remained in the hospital. Nonnutritional factors affecting muscle protein stores and serum albumin level were taken into account. A total of 63 patients (31.5%) were found to be malnourished. The most common conditions associated with decreased protein stores were hypoxic cardiopulmonary disease, gastrointestinal disease, neuromuscular or arthritic impairment, organic brain syndrome, and febrile illness. Although nonnutritional factors accounted for many instances of protein depletion, especially milder degrees of depletion, nevertheless protein calorie malnutrition was highly prevalent in this population.

(JAMA 243:1720-1722, 1980)