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THE ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN AGE, BODY COMPOSITION AND NOURISHMENT IN SURGICAL PATIENTS
Theoretical background: Hospitalisations after surgical procedures due to chronic diseases or injuries are often accompanied with reduced muscle mass, especially in elderly population. Body mass index (BMI) is one of the indicators of patient`s body composition, however, its associations with age and nourishment status remains to be elucidated. The aim of our study was to examine the relationship between age, BMI and nourishment status of patients assigned to surgical procedures in General Hospital Murska Sobota, and differences in nourishment status between different surgical departments.
Methods: A total of 87 surgical patients (36.8 % females) from Department of Surgery or Orthopaedics in General Hospital Murska Sobota were included into the study. Body height and weight was measured, and nourishment status was assessed using standardized Mini Nutritional Assessment questionnaire (MNA).
Results: Majority of patients had normal forearm (67.47 %) and thigh (75.90 %) circumference. BMI was significantly associated with orientation section of the MNA questionnaire (p=0,011), whereas there was no significant relationship between total MNA and BMI. Nourishment status was not significantly different between surgical departments. On contrary, there was a significant relationship between nourishment status and age (rho=-0.212, p=0.049).
Conclusion: Extensive nourishment screening is advised prior to surgical procedure, especially in elderly patients and patients with low BMI, with emphasis on optimal macronutrients intake and nutritional education of patients and relatives.