Background & aims: Hip fractures are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in the elderly. Malnutrition is a significant contributor to this, however no consensus exists as to the detection or management of this condition. We hypothesise that results of admission serum albumin and total lymphocyte count (TLC), as markers of Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) can help predict clinical outcome in hip fracture patients aged over 60 years. Methods: This retrospective study evaluated the nutritional status of patients with hip fractures using albumin and TLC assays and analysed their prognostic relevance. Clinical outcome parameters studied were delay to operation, duration of in-patient stay, re-admission and in-patient, 3- and 12-month mortality. Results: Four hundred and fifteen hip fracture patients were evaluated. Survival data were available for 377 patients at 12. months. In-hospital mortality for PEM patients was 9.8%, compared with 0% for patients without. Patients with PEM had a higher 12-month mortality compared to patients who had normal values of both laboratory parameters (Odds Ratio 4.6; 95% CI: 1.0-21.3). Serum albumin (Hazard Ratio 0.932, 95% CI: 0.9-1.0) and age (Hazard Ratio 1.04, 95% CI: 1.0-1.1) were found to be significant independent prognostic factors of mortality by Cox regression analysis. Conclusions: These results highlight the relevance of assessing the nutritional status of patients with hip fractures at the time of admission and emphasises the correlation between PEM and outcome in these patients. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.
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