Malnutrition Linked to In-Hospital Deaths for Patients with Heart Attacks - European Medical Journal

Malnutrition Linked to In-Hospital Deaths for Patients with Heart Attacks

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CARDIOVASCULAR disease accounts for almost one-third of deaths worldwide, and while the overall incidence and mortality rates are declining, the mortality-to-incidence ratio remains constant. It has been previously suggested that a healthy lifestyle could prevent up to 80% of cardiovascular disease cases, and more specifically, nutritional status could have an impact on prognosis in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Malnutrition identified at admission to hospital has been linked to the development of complications, prolonged hospital stays, hospital readmission, and all-cause mortality in patients with ACS.

Jacek Smereka, Wrocław Medical University, Poland, commented: “While previous research has looked at the impact of nutritional status on mortality in patients with ACS, little data is available showing differences based on sex and nutritional status.” Therefore, the research team sought assess the effect of nutritional status on in-hospital mortality in patients with ACS in relation to sex.

The retrospective study analysed medical records data from 945 patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction. The nutritional status and severity of disease-related stress metabolism were assessed using the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 tool, with a score ≥3 considered nutritionally at risk. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality.

Demographic data showed females included in the study were older than males, with a mean age of 73 and 67, respectively. In an unadjusted model, risk for malnutrition was a predictor of in-hospital mortality for females (odds ratio [OR]: 7.510; P=0.001). Furthermore, in an adjusted model, heart failure (OR: 8.408; P=0.003), and risk for malnutrition (OR: 6.555; P=0.007) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality for females. For males, only heart failure persisted as a predictor of in-hospital mortality (OR: 3.789; P=0.006), while BMI was not a predictor for either sex.

Overall, the researchers commented: “Nutrition treatment education and implementation should be an integral part of the therapeutic process,” stressing “starting nutritional treatment in malnourished patients as soon as possible can affect prognosis [and] show prognostic and economic significance.”

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