The following is a summary of “Increased Risk of Hospitalization, Surgery, and Venous Thromboembolism Among Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Malnutrition in a Large, Community-Based Health Care System,” published in the August 2023 issue of Gastroenterology and Nutrition by Fine, et al.
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) face an increased risk of malnutrition, making routine screening crucial. However, standardized screening tools could be challenging to implement. Limited data existed regarding outcomes specific to malnutrition in IBD.
For a retrospective cohort study spanning 2009–2019, researchers electronically screened a substantial community-based IBD population for malnutrition risk using height and longitudinal weight data, key elements of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST). Employing Cox proportional hazards regression, they assessed whether a modified MUST malnutrition risk score derived from electronic medical records correlated with IBD-related hospitalization, surgery, and venous thromboembolism.
Among 12,530 IBD patients, 86.5% had low malnutrition risk, 9.1% medium risk, and 4.4% high risk. Over a 1-year follow-up period, medium and high malnutrition risks, compared to low risk, were associated with IBD-related hospitalization (medium risk-adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.80, 95% CI 1.34–2.42; high-risk aHR 1.90, 95% CI 1.30–2.78) and IBD-related surgery (medium risk aHR 2.28, 95% CI 1.60–3.26; high-risk aHR 2.38, 95% CI 1.52–3.73). High malnutrition risk alone correlated with venous thromboembolism (aHR 2.79, 95% CI 1.33–5.87).
Malnutrition risk is significantly related to IBD-related hospitalization, surgery, and venous thromboembolism. Applying the MUST score to electronic medical records offered a practical way to identify malnutrition risk and predict adverse outcomes in IBD patients. This enabled the targeted allocation of nutritional and other resources to those most at risk.