Background and Aims: Studies have indicated that undernutrition is common on admission to hospital but there is limited data on change in nutritional parameters during the hospital stay. We assessed the nutritional status of elective gastrointestinal surgery patients on admission and documented change in nutritional indices during hospitalisation.Methods: Two hundred patients aged 18–80 years undergoing elective open gastrointestinal surgery were nutritionally assessed on admission and 150 were reassessed on commencement of oral diet post-surgery. Data were collected on height, weight, upper arm anthropometry and hand-grip dynamometry. Results: On admission BMI <20, 20–24.9 and >25, respectively, were found in 9%, 34% and 57% of patients. Post-surgery, 34% of patients experienced a clinically significant weight loss. Males lost significantly more weight (3.7% vs 1.6%, P<0.001) and tended to lose muscle mass while females preferentially lost subcutaneous fat. Conclusions: The incidence of undernutrition on admission appears to be lower than previously reported. However, clinically significant weight loss was common and this study highlighted gender differences in the changes in nutritional parameters experienced by gastrointestinal surgery patients. This differential influence of gender warrants further investigation and may have implications for the nutritional management of such patients
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.