Primary Article

Unintentional Weight Loss in Long-term Care: Predictor of Mortality in the Elderly

Authors: CASS RYAN PhD, RD, ELIZABETH BRYANT PhD, PAUL ELEAZER MD, AUDREY RHODES MD, KEITH GUEST RN

Abstract

ABSTRACT: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 153 long-term care residents. Of these, 24 had lost at least 5% of their body weight during a 1-month interval. An unmatched control group of 51 patients was randomly selected from the remaining patients. Subjects who lost at least 5% body weight in 1 month were 4.6 times more likely to die within 1 year. Using multiple logistic regression, the odds ratio for weight loss and mortality was 5.1 (95% confidence interval 1.5 to 17.1) after adjustment for potential confounding by age and sex. The relatively simple anthropometric measure of body weight could be used by a multidisciplinary team in long-term care settings to identify patients at increased risk of dying. Further work is needed to clarify the role that nutrition could play in decreasing mortality in long-term care facilities.

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References