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Risk Score Developed for Life Expectancy of Hospital Patients

Investigators focus on nutrition

Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria have developed the world’s first prognosis scoring system for hospital patients and their life expectancy within the next 30 days.

The Patient And Nutrition-Derived Outcome Risk Assessment (PANDORA) score was published in the open-access journal PloS One. Data from more than 43,000 patients were gathered from 2,480 medical institutions in 59 countries to develop the score, and the data were validated with a further 13,000 patient surveys, according to the authors.

To determine the score, patients are asked about simple parameters, such as their age, height, and weight. They are also asked for a personal estimate of their mobility and eating behavior as well as their general condition. Using a weighted points system, a general risk score is obtained. This score can be used in hospitals to ensure treatment quality; to determine whether special attention needs to be paid to special risk groups; and to obtain indicators of undetected background condition or other problems, lead investigator Dr. Michael Hiesmayr said. “It may even be conceivable in the future to develop an online risk calculator which patients can complete themselves if they are able to,” he remarked. “The results could also be factored into patients’ files. The score is currently a tool for describing the severity of a condition more clearly and allows it to be expressed in numbers.”

Data obtained over the years have shown show that in-hospital weight loss associated with a condition increases the risk of mortality. “Most patients arrive in hospital with an existing nutrition problem,” Hiesmayr said.

Of all patients admitted to hospitals, 15% to 40% are undernourished, according to Dr. Karen Schindler, and this malnutrition is often ignored, leading to deterioration in the patient’s condition. “On many wards, we have already been able to adapt the routines based on these numbers,” Schindler said. “Furthermore, nutritional risks are documented on admission; the amount of food eaten is monitored; and the patient’s nutritional status and treatment plan are included in the discharge summary.”

Source: Medical Xpress; June 29, 2015.


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