Nutritional status assessment in patients with Covid-19 after discharge from the intensive care unit

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2021 Feb;41:423-428. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2020.09.214. Epub 2020 Oct 13.


Introduction: The nutritional diagnosis and early nutritional management of COVID-19 patients must be integrated into the overall therapeutic strategy. The aim of our study is to assess the nutritional status of patients with COVID-19 after a stay in intensive care, to describe the prevalence of undernutrition, to determine the factors influencing undernutrition and to describe the nutritional management.

Tools and methods: This is a descriptive observational study of adult patients admitted to the endocrinology service for additional care after a stay in intensive care during the period from April 17, 2020 to May 26, 2020. The assessment tool used was the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA).

Results: Our study included 41 patients; the average age of the patients was 55 years, 51.2% had a severe or critical form of COVID-19, 75.6% stayed in intensive care, 12.2% had a loss of autonomy. The average BMI was 25.2 kg/m2 (17-42 kg/m2), 42.5% were overweight, 61% had weight loss, 26.2% had weight loss greater than 10%, 14.6% of our patients were undernourished, 65.9% were at risk of undernutrition, 19.5% had hypoalbuminemia, 17.1% had hypoprotidemia, 19.5% hypocalcemia, 34.1% anemia, 12.2% hypomagnesemia and 51.2% had a deficiency in vitamin D. A positive correlation was found between poor nutritional status and a longer stay in intensive care (>5 days) (p = 0.011) and lymphopenia (p = 0,02).

Conclusion: Despite a personalized diet, 14.6% of patients presented undernutrition. Particular attention should be paid to patients with a long stay in intensive care.

Keywords: COVID-19; Intensive care units; Nutritional status; Rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Critical Care*
  • Deficiency Diseases / diagnosis
  • Deficiency Diseases / epidemiology
  • Deficiency Diseases / etiology
  • Deficiency Diseases / therapy
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Length of Stay*
  • Lymphopenia / etiology
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / diagnosis
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology
  • Malnutrition / etiology*
  • Malnutrition / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrients / deficiency
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Discharge
  • Prevalence
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Weight Loss