Background: Malnutrition is frequently observed in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). The present study aimed to examine the relationship between nutritional status using Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and the mortality of patients with pulmonary TB.
Methods: Fifty-seven patients with pulmonary TB were analyzed. Nutrition assessment was carried out using MUST. The Cox proportional hazard model was applied to assess the ability of MUST to predict prognosis. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to assess MUST score as a prognostic indicator in pulmonary TB patients. To obtain optimal cut-off values for MUST score for prognostic assessment in TB patients, we used the maximum Youden Index.
Results: For predicting the risk of mortality, the optimal cut-off value for MUST score was 3.5. Univariate and multivariate analyses identified age and MUST score ≥ 4 as significant independent prognostic factors for survival. The patients with MUST score ≤ 3 had a median survival of 481 days (95% CI: 453 to 510) and that for the patients with MUST score ≥ 4 was 304 days (95% CI: 214 to 394); the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.001).
Conclusion: MUST appears to be a reliable tool for nutritional risk assessment of patients with pulmonary TB. In addition, MUST may be a useful prognostic indicator of survival in patients with pulmonary TB.