Assessment of nutritional status and nutritional risk in hospitalized Iranian children

Acta Paediatr. 2012 Oct;101(10):e446-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02789.x. Epub 2012 Aug 4.


Aims: This study aimed to define the nutritional state of children admitted to a tertiary Iranian hospital and to evaluate nutritional risk score tools in these children.

Methods: The anthropometry of hospitalized and healthy children from the same community was determined. Three nutritional risk score tools were applied to all inpatients.

Results: One hundred and nineteen inpatients were recruited along with a comparison group of 100 children. The prevalence of under-nutrition in the inpatient group was 25.2% and 3% in the community group (p < 0.0001). Obesity/overweight was more prevalent in the community group than the inpatients (22% versus 2.5%: p = 0.04). Severely malnourished children had a longer hospital stay than those with normal nutrition (p < 0.0001). The nutritional risk score tools identified between 83% and 90% of the malnourished patients in the moderate and high-risk groups. The STRONG(kids) tool correlated more strongly with anthropometric measurements than the other tools. The length of hospital stay was associated with risk status (p = 0.004).

Conclusion: Hospitalized Iranian children have higher rates of under-nutrition than healthy children from the same community. NRS tools were able to identify children at nutritional risk; however, variable utility was observed. Further assessment of NRS tools in the developing setting is required.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tertiary Care Centers