Nutritional status of patients hospitalised in Poland

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;59(4):552-60. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602117.


Aim: Screening and extended assessment of the nutritional status of patients on admission and on discharge from hospital were carried out.

Description: The studies were carried out in four teaching hospitals, four provincial hospitals and four county hospitals in Poland.

Subjects: Screening examinations were carried out for 3310 randomly selected patients (every 10th patient admitted to hospital, including 1916 female cases aged from 16 to 92 y and 1394 male patients aged from 16 to 100 y). Extended examinations were carried out on 210 patients aged from 16 to 87 y (including 122 female and 88 male). MAIN ASSESSMENT PARAMETERS: Anthropometric (height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), arm circumference) and biochemical indices (erythrocyte count, haemoglobin concentration, white blood cell count, blood lymphocyte count and serum albumin serum concentration). The extended examinations included determination of antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E), vitamin B(12) and folic acid.

Results: On admission to hospital, 10.43% of the patients surveyed had a BMI below 20 kg/m(2), in 20.74% of patients serum albumin concentration was below 3.5 g/dl, indicating possible protein energy malnutrition. In addition, 21.02% had lymphocyte count below 1.5 x 10(3)/mm(3). During hospitalisation, deterioration in the nutritional status of the patient population occurred. On discharge from hospital, the percentage of patients with BMI < 20 kg/m(2) increased to 11.21% and the percentage with low blood albumin (<3.5 g/dl) increased to 28.57%. On admission, vitamin C deficiency was present in 51.8% of patients, folic acid deficiency in 32%, vitamin E deficiency in 10%, vitamin B(12) deficiency in 6.8% and vitamin A deficiency in 1.4%. Vitamin deficiencies were present equally in malnourished, overweight and obese patients.

Conclusions: In patients admitted to hospitals in Poland, malnutrition risk demonstrated by BMI was observed in 10.43% of patients. On the basis of biochemical indices, increased nutritional risk was demonstrated in 21% of patients. Vitamin malnutrition was seen in the majority of patients. A significant correlation between weight, BMI, arm circumference, blood lymphocyte count and the number of days spent in hospital was observed.

Sponsorship: The Committee of Scientific Research and the Ministry of Health-PBZ 012-14.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Albumins / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay
  • Lymphocyte Count / methods
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status / physiology*
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Vitamins / blood


  • Albumins
  • Vitamins