Undernourished stroke patients may have more complications, worse outcomes

Jan 14, 2008

Patients who are undernourished when they enter the hospital with an acute ischemic stroke—the most common type of stroke, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked—are likely to remain undernourished in the hospital and may have worse clinical outcomes, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

“Although undernutrition [a deficiency in overall calories or one or more nutrients] is common in medical, geriatric and stroke patients, its treatment has received little attention,” the authors write as background information in the article. “Because undernutrition may influence clinical outcomes, it is important to assess nutritional status and treat undernutrition particularly during acute stage of stroke.”

Sung-Hee Yoo, R.N., M.S., and colleagues at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, studied 131 acute ischemic stroke patients who underwent assessments of their nutritional status within 24 hours of hospital admission and again one week after their symptoms began. Complications were assessed immediately after admission to the hospital and continuously until patients left the hospital or transferred to a rehabilitation unit. Clinical outcomes were measured three months later.

Of the patients, 16 (12.2 percent) were insufficiently nourished when they were admitted to the hospital and 26 (19.8 percent) were undernourished after one week. Undernutrition at hospital admission was associated with undernutrition one week later and complications following the stroke, while undernutrition at one week predicted poor outcomes after three months.

“These results suggest that patients undernourished at admission do not recover well with general hospital diets and are more likely to have poststroke complications and that undernourished patients during hospitalization are more likely to develop poor functional outcomes,” the authors write.

“Strategic nutritional support, particularly in patients with baseline undernutrition, may improve clinical outcomes after acute ischemic stroke,” they conclude.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Not just for the holidays, mistletoe could fight obesity-related liver disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sampling rivers for genes rather than organisms

29 minutes ago

Effective environmental management depends on a detailed knowledge of the distribution of species. But taxonomists are in short supply, and some species can be difficult to identify, even for experts. Eawag, ...

Trawling makes for skinny flatfish

29 minutes ago

Trawling the seabed doesn't just remove some of the fishes living there; it also makes some of the survivors thinner and less healthy by forcing them to use more energy finding less nutritious food.

Recommended for you

Stem cells faulty in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

18 hours ago

Like human patients, mice with a form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy undergo progressive muscle degeneration and accumulate connective tissue as they age. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have ...

Here's how the prion protein protects us

23 hours ago

The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has the ability to protect the brain's neurons. Although scientists have known about this protective physiological function for some time, they were lacking detailed knowledge ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.