Nutritional status assessment: a neglected biomarker in persons with end-stage kidney disease
Purpose of review: Malnutrition is a frequent complication and risk factor for adverse outcomes in the dialysis population that is often underrecognized and neglected. This article reviews published literature on the associations between malnutrition, mortality, quality of life and hospitalizations in persons on dialysis in order to raise awareness of the importance of preventing and treating it. Recent findings: All methods of nutritional assessment namely serum biochemistry, body composition, dietary intake, handgrip strength and nutritional scoring tools are independently associated with increased mortality in dialysis populations. Malnutrition severely affects physical and mental measures of quality of life and increases the number and length of hospitalizations in persons receiving dialysis, resulting in increased healthcare costs. Worsening of nutritional status is also associated with poor survival and higher rates of hospitalizations in this patient population. Summary: Malnutrition is an unacceptably common complication in dialysis patients that is substantially associated with adverse outcomes and higher hospital costs. Further interventional studies assessing the impact of preventing and treating malnutrition on clinical outcomes are warranted and should be considered a priority.
- Specialist Medicine