High nutritional risk is associated with unfavorable outcomes in patients admitted to an intensive care unit

ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate possible associations between nutritional risk and the clinical outcomes of critical patients admitted to an intensive care unit. Methods: A prospective study was carried out with a cohort comprising 200 patients admitted to a university hospital intensive care unit. Nutritional risk was assessed with the NRS-2002 and NUTRIC scores. Patients with scores ≥ 5 were considered at high nutritional risk. Clinical data and outcome measures were obtained from patients' medical records. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to calculate odds ratios and their respective 95% confidence intervals (for clinical outcomes). Results: This sample of critical patients had a mean age of 59.4 ± 16.5 years and 53.5% were female. The proportions at high nutritional risk according to NRS-2002 and NUTRIC were 55% and 36.5%, respectively. Multiple logistic regression models adjusted for gender and type of admission indicated that high nutritional risk assessed by the NRS-2002 was positively associated with use of mechanical ventilation (OR = 2.34; 95%CI 1.31 - 4.19; p = 0.004); presence of infection (OR = 2.21; 95%CI 1.24 - 3.94; p = 0.007), and death (OR = 1.86; 95%CI 1.01 - 3.41; p = 0.045). When evaluated by NUTRIC, nutritional risk was associated with renal replacement therapy (OR = 2.10; 95%CI 1.02 - 4.15; p = 0.040) and death (OR = 3.48; 95%CI 1.88 - 6.44; p < 0.001). Conclusion: In critically ill patients, high nutritional risk was positively associated with an increased risk of clinical outcomes including hospital death.