Journal of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics 2015. 1(3):157-164.

Nutritional assessment in critically ill patients
Elnaz Daneshzad, Leila Azadbakhat, Felorance Neamani, Saeid Abasi, Fatemeh Shirani, Peyman Adibi


Background: Nutritional care is of special importance in the control of the rate of mortality among intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Therefore, anthropometric and biochemical assessment are important among ICU patients. We intend to report the anthropometric and biochemical indices, as well as the energy intake among ICU patients in Isfahan, Iran.

Methods: This descriptive study was carried out in Isfahan, Iran on 100 patients admitted to the ICU. Height, weight, mid arm circumference, and energy requirements were measured in this population. Some biochemical factors, such as albumin, creatinine, lymphocytes count, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, were measured twice within a week interval by biochemical tests. Any kind of disease, having infection or bedsore, taking oral ventilation and the kind of nutrition has been assessed in each patient.

Results: Serum albumin level was less than normal range in 67% of patients based on measurements in the first day of staying in ICU. The prevalence increased to 77% in  the  seventh day of  hospitalization in  ICU  (p  =  0.040). There  was  a significant reduction in the mean of mid arm circumference after 1 week staying in ICU (p = 0.001). There were significant differences between energy intake and the amount of energy requirements in these patients (p = 0.035).

Conclusion: ICU patients have been exposed to lower energy intake compared to their requirements and their mid arm circumference reduced significantly after 1 week staying in hospital. Therefore, they require special nutritional care.


Malnutrition; Nutritional assessment; Anthropometric indices; Intensive care unit patients

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