Can adverse surgical outcomes be predicted by a Nutritional assessment score in an elderly population undergoing elective general surgery?
To assess whether the use of a nutritional assessment score correlates with outcomes in elderly patients undergoing general surgical procedures.
A 3 month prospective study was conducted at our hospital; enrolling 79 patients aged ≥65 having elective general surgery. These patients had their nutritional assessment done as per Malnutrition indicator score (MIS). A high score (MIS≥ 24) indicated a normal nutritional status while a low score (MIS< 24) showed risk of malnutrition or malnourishment. The sample was then subjectively divided into two groups; 35 patients with MIS< 24 and 44 patients with MIS≥ 24. For data analysis, the statistical significance was set at a p-value of less than 0.05.
The patients with a MIS≥ 24 had a shorter duration of hospital stay post operatively as compared to the group with a MIS< 24 (p = 0.08). Similarly the group with MIS≥ 24 had low post-operative complication rate as compared to MIS< 24 (p = 0.18). However there was no difference in the mortality rate amongst both the groups (p = 0.90).
The patients with MIS≥ 24 had generally a better post- operative outcome when compared to the other group of MIS<24. None of the effects were found to be statistically significant though. Nutritional assessment can play an integral part in assessing surgical outcomes in older surgical patients but has to be taken into account in combination with various other modalities to predict results post-operatively.