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Review
, 37 (1), 37-43

Preoperative Nutrition Status and Postoperative Outcome in Elderly General Surgery Patients: A Systematic Review

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Review

Preoperative Nutrition Status and Postoperative Outcome in Elderly General Surgery Patients: A Systematic Review

Mireille F M van Stijn et al. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr.

Abstract

Background: Poor nutrition status is considered a risk factor for postoperative complications in the adult population. In elderly patients, who often have a poor nutrition status, this relationship has not been substantiated. Thus, the aim of this systematic review was to assess the merit of preoperative nutrition parameters used to predict postoperative outcome in elderly patients undergoing general surgery.

Methods: A systematic literature search of 10 consecutive years, 1998-2008, in PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases was performed. Search terms used were nutrition status, preoperative assessment, postoperative outcome, and surgery (hip or general), including their synonyms and MeSH terms. Limits used in the search were human studies, published in English, and age (65 years or older). Articles were screened using inclusion and exclusion criteria. All selected articles were checked on methodology and graded.

Results: Of 463 articles found, 15 were included. They showed profound heterogeneity in the parameters used for preoperative nutrition status and postoperative outcome. The only significant preoperative predictors of postoperative outcome in elderly general surgery patients were serum albumin and ≥ 10% weight loss in the previous 6 months.

Conclusions: This systematic review revealed only 2 preoperative parameters to predict postoperative outcome in elderly general surgery patients: weight loss and serum albumin. Both are open to discussion in their use as a preoperative nutrition parameter. Nonetheless, serum albumin seems a reliable preoperative parameter to identify a patient at risk for nutrition deterioration and related complicated postoperative course.

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