Outcome of older patients requiring ventilatory support in intensive care: impact of nutritional status

V Dardaine, P F Dequin, H Ripault, T Constans, G Giniès
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2001, 49 (5): 564-70

OBJECTIVES: To determine predictors of mortality in the intensive care unit (ICU) and at 6 months after discharge; to assess the lifestyles of survivors 6 months after discharge.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study of patients screened upon admission and 6 months after discharge from the ICU.

SETTING: The ICU of a university hospital.

PARTICIPANTS: One hundred sixteen consecutive patients age 70 and older admitted to the ICU and treated by mechanical ventilation for at least 24 hours.

MEASUREMENTS: A comprehensive medical, functional, nutritional, and social assessment was undertaken for each patient upon admission to the ICU. Functional status and residence were recorded for patients still living 6 months after discharge from the ICU.

RESULTS: Mortality in the ICU and 6 months after discharge was 31% and 52%, respectively. The predictors of in-ICU mortality on multivariate analysis were a high omega score per day in the ICU and a high simplified acute physiologic score corrected for points related to age (SAPS IIc). The predictors of mortality at 6 months were a high omega score per day in the ICU, a high SAPS IIc, and a mid-arm circumference (MAC) under the 10th percentile for the older French population in good health. Six months after discharge from the ICU, 91% of the surviving patients had the same residential status and 89% had a similar or improved functional status compared with pre-admission status.

CONCLUSIONS: Although severity of illness remains an important predictor of in-ICU mortality and mortality at 6 months after release from ICU, we found that impaired nutritional status upon admission was related to 6-month mortality. These results emphasize the need for a systematic nutritional assessment in older patients admitted to the ICU and treated by mechanical ventilation.

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