Heart Failure
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Malnutrition as assessed by nutritional risk index is associated with worse outcome in patients admitted with acute decompensated heart failure: an ACAP-HF data analysis

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Published Online: Aug 3rd 2018 Heart International 2011;6(1):e2 DOI:
Authors: Emad F. Aziz, Fahad Javed, Balaji Pratap, Dan Musat, Amjad Nader, Sandeep Pulimi, Carlos L. Alivar, Eyal Herzog, Marrick L. Kukin
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Malnutrition is common at hospital admission and tends to worsen during hospitalization. This controlled population study aimed to determine if serum albumin or moderate and severe nutritional depletion by Nutritional Risk Index (NRI) at hospital admission are associated with increased length of hospital stay (LOS) in patients admitted with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Serum albumin levels and lymphocyte counts were retrospectively determined at hospital admission in 1740 consecutive patients admitted with primary and secondary diagnosis of ADHF. The Nutrition Risk Score (NRI) developed originally in AIDS and cancer populations was derived from the serum albumin concentration and the ratio of actual to usual weight, as follows: NRI = (1.519 × serum albumin, g/dL) + {41.7 × present weight (kg)/ideal body weight(kg)}. Patients were classified into four groups as no, mild, moderate or severe risk by NRI. Multiple logistic regressions were used to determine the association between nutritional risk category and LOS.
Three hundred and eighty-one patients (34%) were at moderate or severe nutritional risk by NRI score. This cohort had lower BMI (24 ± 5.6 kg/m2), albumin (2.8±0.5 g/dL), mean NRI (73.5±9) and lower eGFR (50±33 mL/min per 1.73 m2). NRI for this cohort, adjusted for age, was associated with LOS of 10.1 days. Using the Multiple Logistic regression module, NRI was the strongest predictor for LOS (OR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.58-1.9; P=0.005), followed by TIMI Risk Score [TRS] (OR 1.33, 95% CI: 1.03-1.71; P=0.02) and the presence of coronary artery disease (OR 2.29, 95%CI: 1.03- 5.1; P=0.04). Moderate and severe NRI score was associated with higher readmission and death rates as compared to the other two groups.
Nutritional depletion as assessed by Nutritional Risk Index is associated with worse outcome in patients admitted with ADHF. Therefore; we recommend adding NRI to further risk stratify these patients.


Nutrition risk and heart failure outcome.

Article Information:

Emad F Aziz, Coordinator ACAP Program, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, 1111 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025, USA. E-mail:


We are thankful to the entire
team of ACAP for their untiring efforts in the
completion of this study. We are also thankful to
all the physicians who helped us in data gathering
of this study including the residents of St
Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, USA.
This abstract was presented, in part, as a finalist
in the Jay N. Cohn New Investigator Award:
Clinical / Integrative Physiology session at the
national HFSA (Heart Failure Society of America)
meeting on Monday September 14, 2009 in
Boston Massachusetts, USA.



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