Refeeding syndrome in older hospitalized patients

  • Refeeding syndrome (RFS) is a serious metabolic disturbance that manifests after reintroducing nutrition to severely malnourished individuals. Especially susceptible are older patients, due to higher malnutrition rates, although the incidence remains uncertain. Our study aimed to assess the occurrence and management of RFS in malnourished older hospitalized patients. This prospective study included 156 malnourished older patients, with malnutrition identified using the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form. We evaluated critical biochemical parameters at admission and for ten days after starting nutritional therapy. Using the consensus evidence-based approach, we managed and evaluated RFS. We also tracked mortality and unexpected hospital readmissions for six months after discharge. The average patient age was 82.3 \(\pm\) 7.5 years, with 69% female. Patients showed hypophosphatemia (23%), hypomagnesemia (31%), and hypokalemia (6%) on admission. Prior to nutritional replenishment, patients were classified as being at low (64%), high (30%), or very high risk (6%) for RFS. After nutritional therapy, 14% and 5% developed imminent and manifest RFS, respectively. There were no significant differences in six-month post-discharge mortality rates or unexpected hospital readmissions between patients with or without RFS. Despite adherence to guideline-recommended management, RFS can persist. No elevated mortality was noted in RFS patients, potentially due to early diagnosis and treatment.

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Author:Kevin TerlistenGND, Rainer WirthORCiDGND, Diana DaubertGND, Maryam PourhassanORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Nutrients
Subtitle (English):incidence, management, and outcomes
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/03/13
Date of first Publication:2023/09/21
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
incidence; malnutrition; management; older hospitalized patients; outcomes; refeeding syndrome
Issue:18, Article 4084
First Page:4084-1
Last Page:4084-10
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Marienhospital Herne, Klinik für Altersmedizin und Frührehabilitation
Dewey Decimal Classification:Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / Medizin, Gesundheit
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International