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Factors Associated with Significant Weight Loss in Hospitalised Patients with COVID-19: A Retrospective Cohort Study in a Large Teaching Hospital.

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Patel, Pinal S 
Paciepnik, Jessica 
Dobson, Frances 


SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) is associated with malnutrition risk in hospitalised individuals. COVID-19 and malnutrition studies in large European cohorts are limited, and post-discharge dietary characteristics are understudied. This study aimed to assess the rates of and risk factors for ≥10% weight loss in inpatients with COVID-19, and the need for post-discharge dietetic support and the General Practitioner (GP) prescription of oral nutritional supplements, during the first COVID-19 wave in a large teaching hospital in the UK. Hospitalised adult patients admitted between March and June 2020 with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis were included in this retrospective cohort study. Demographic, anthropometric, clinical, biochemical, and nutritional parameters associated with ≥10% weight loss and post-discharge characteristics were described. Logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors for ≥10% weight loss and post-discharge requirements for ongoing dietetic input and oral nutritional supplement prescription. From the total 288 patients analysed (40% females, 72 years median age), 19% lost ≥ 10% of their admission weight. The length of hospital stay was a significant risk factor for ≥10% weight loss in multivariable analysis (OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.08-1.38; p = 0.001). In addition, ≥10% weight loss was positively associated with higher admission weight and malnutrition screening scores, dysphagia, ICU admission, and artificial nutrition needs. The need for more than one dietetic input after discharge was associated with older age and ≥10% weight loss during admission. A large proportion of patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 experienced significant weight loss during admission. Longer hospital stay is a risk factor for ≥10% weight loss, independent of disease severity, reinforcing the importance of repeated malnutrition screening and timely referral to dietetics.



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Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (BRC)
National Institute for Health Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (146281)
This project was funded by the British Dietetic Association General & Education Trust (BDA GET, Registered Charity No. 282553). This research was supported by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC-1215-20014). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Robert J. B. Goudie was funded by the UKRI Medical Research Council (program code MC_UU_00002/2); Robert J. B. Goudie and Linda M. Oude Griep were supported by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedi-cal Research Centre (BRC-1215-20014).