This study aimed to investigate and assess the nutritional status of patients admitted to the general surgery wards and define the correlation between the risk of malnutrition, hospital course, clinical outcome, any coexistence between malnutrition and obesity in adult surgical patients and to correlate between two systems used in the assessment of malnutrition.
This is a cross sectional study done between December 2012-April 2013, on 214 patients, randomly selected admitted to public and private surgical wards in Basra General Hospital. They underwent two screening tools; the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST). The 214 patients were divided into two groups, both were included in the two validated screening tools for identification of the risk of malnutrition.
Patients who were at risk of malnutrition in the private wards in the MST group were 6 out of 43(13.9%) while in the public ward were 10 out of 64 (15.6%). Regarding the MUST risk score in the private wards, there were 11 patients in the medium and high scores out of 54 patients( 20.3%) while in the public wards were 7 out of 53(13.2%).
In the MST group, there were 7 positive females out of 58(12%) and males were 9 out of 49(18.3%). In the MUST group, 7 out of 53(13.2%) females were positive and 11 of 54(20.3%).
In the MST group, there were 2 positive <30 patients out of 30(6.6%) and 10 patients (30-60) out of 62(16.1%) and above 60 years were 4 out of 15(26.6%). Regarding the MUST group, there were 3 patients at positive risk in <30 y out of 17(17.6%) and in 30-60 y they were 9 out of 69(13%) and in above 60 y they were 6 out of 21(28.5%).
The MUST tool depends on BMI in its scoring. The results of this study showed there was not even a single patient with BMI <18.5 and the majority of the patients were either overweight or obese.
In conclusion, the prevalence of under nourishment in the surgical inpatients in this trial is low; there is slight difference in the prevalence of malnutrition risk between MST and MUST. Malnutrition according to BMI is rare in patients included in MUST, over weight and obesity are the main problems in this study not the malnutrition. Patients with positive risk of malnourishment are not malnourished primarly but influenced by their diseases.