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Nutritional status of Vietnamese outpatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Hogan, D., Lan, L. T. T., Diep, D. T. N., Gallegos, D., Collins, P. F.
Journal of human nutrition and dietetics 2017 v.30 no.1 pp. 83-89
body mass index, females, males, malnutrition, muscles, nutrition assessment, nutritional status, patients, respiratory tract diseases, retrospective studies, risk, screening, Vietnam
BACKGROUND: Nutritional screening and assessment is not currently part of routine clinical practice in Vietnam. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the utility of the commonly used methods for identifying malnutrition in outpatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). METHODS: A cross‐sectional pilot study and a larger retrospective study were carried out in outpatients with COPD who were attending a respiratory clinic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Routine clinical data were collected [body mass index (BMI), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV₁)]. Nutritional screening and assessment were performed using the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST) and Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) as the gold standard to diagnose malnutrition. RESULTS: In total, 393 outpatients had documented BMI and 29 were prospectively assessed using SGA: males, n = 25; females, n = 4; mean (SD) age 69.7 (9.6) years; mean (SD) BMI 21.0 (3.4) kg m–²; mean (SD) FEV₁ percentage predicted 57.0% (19.7%). Malnutrition risk was identified in 20.7% (n = 6) of patients using the MST (38% sensitivity; 94% specificity). However, 45% (n = 13) were diagnosed as malnourished using the SGA (31% mild/moderate; 14% severe). All malnourished patients not identified by the MST had evidence of muscle wasting. BMI had a strong negative correlation with muscle wasting as assessed using the SGA (r = −0.857, n = 28; P < 0.001) and all malnourished patients had a BMI <21 kg m–² (range 14.6–20.8 kg m–², nourished range 20.0–27.6 kg m–²). CONCLUSIONS: Malnutrition is common in Vietnamese outpatients with COPD. A BMI threshold of <21 kg m–² appears to represent a useful and pragmatic cut‐off point for identifying outpatients requiring comprehensive nutritional assessment and support.