Purpose of review: A new nutrition-related risk assessment tool, the Geriatric Nutritional Risk Index (GNRI), has been recently proposed. The aim of this review is to summarize current evidences on the use of this tool with particular focus on the rationales of its application in elderly healthcare.
Recent findings: Structured as a dichotomous index, based on serum albumin values and the discrepancy between real and ideal weight, the GNRI seems to account for both acute and chronic reasons of nutrition-related complications. It allows us to face the frequent difficulties in obtaining a profitable participation of the old patient to nutritional assessment. Its application appears feasible in all healthcare settings in which it shows adequacy to discriminate different profiles of nutritional risk. A GNRI less than 92 might be suggested as clinical trigger for routine nutritional support.
Summary: In maths of nutrition 'recognize and treat' has become a clinical imperative. Actually, clinical judgement by an expert is still considered the reference standard to diagnose malnutrition but the use of simplified tools profitably assists in nutritional risk screening process. The GNRI is easy to use and preliminary results show that it is promising. Its routine application, next to the other validated tools already available, might be enforced in the assessment of the old patient.