Methods: A 30-day follow-up study was performed among hospitalized patients in 31 units at a Danish University Hospital. Data was collected using the nurses' quartile nutrition registration method and electronic patient journals. All patients were screened using the NRS-2002 and classified as either at nutritional risk (NRS-2002, score ≥3) or not at nutritional risk (NRS-2002, score
Results: In total, 318 patients were included in this study. Patients at nutritional risk were older, lower BMI, male, more comorbidities and a longer primary length of stay compared to patients not at nutritional risk (p < 0.05). After 30-day follow-up, mortality was higher among patients at risk (9.5% vs. 2.0%, p < 0.05). Patients at nutritional risk showed increased risk of mortality if they did not achieve 75% of estimated requirements (energy: OR = 8.08 [1.78; 36.79]; protein: OR = 3.40 [0.74; 15:53]). Furthermore, predicted probability of mortality decreased with increased energy and protein intakes. No significant associations were found for readmissions achieving 75% of estimated energy or protein requirements. A cutoff of 76-81% for energy and 58-62% for protein was equivalent with accepting a 6-8% mortality rate.
Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that an energy intake ≥75% of estimated requirement among patients at nutritional risk has a preventative effect regarding mortality within one month, but not for readmissions.