Turkish Archives of Pediatrics
Original Article

Effect of malnutrition on length of hospital stay in children


Department of Pediatrics, University of Health Sciences Adana City Training and Research Hospital, Adana, Turkey

Turk Arch Pediatr 2021; 56: 37-43
DOI: 10.14744/TurkPediatriArs.2020.46354
Read: 283 Downloads: 95 Published: 01 January 2021

Objective: To determine the prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalized pediatric patients, to provide a classification of patients with malnutrition, and to evaluate the effect of malnutrition on length of hospital stay.

Material and Methods: The study included patients aged 5 months to 18 years who were hospitalized in the Department of Pediatrics of the Adana City Training and Research Hospital between May 1st, 2018, and December 31st, 2018. Bodyweight, height, mid-upper arm circumference, and triceps skinfold thickness were measured at the time of hospitalization, and age, sex, diagnosis, comorbid conditions, and length of stay for treatment were recorded.

Results: Of 1009 patients, 44% were female and 56% were male, and the mean age was 59.9±58.6 (median age 32) months. The mean length of stay was 6.83±4.48 days. Malnutrition was determined in 46.9% of the patients according to the Gomez classification. The mean length of stay in patients without malnutrition was 6.31±3.86 days, compared with 7.39±5.04 days in patients with malnutrition (p<0.001). The length of stay increased with increasing degrees of malnutrition (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Malnutrition is often overlooked in hospitalized patients. Studies conducted in different years that reported similar malnutrition rates indicated that this condition still existed as a significant health problem. In the evaluation of nutritional status in hospitalized patients, paying attention to malnutrition while addressing the main reason of hospitalization and incorporating nutritional support into the treatment plan will decrease the length of stay and also reduce the rate of complications.

Cite this article as: Topal A, Tolunay O. Effect of malnutrition on length of hospital stay in children. Turk Arch Pediatr 2021; 56(1): 37-43.

EISSN 2757-6256