Relationship between malnutrition and selected risk factors in two hospitals in Vietnam

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The purpose of the present study was to determine the percentage of patients assessed as malnourished using the Subjective Global Assessment in two hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho across multiple wards; and to investigate the association with factors including gender, age, days since admission, medical diagnosis and number of medications used.


This cross-sectional study involved 205 inpatients from a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and 78 inpatients and 89 outpatients from a hospital in Can Tho. Malnutrition status was assessed using Subjective Global Assessment. Ward, gender, age, medical diagnosis, time since admission and medication number were extracted from medical records.


Up to 36% of inpatients and 9.0% of outpatients were malnourished. Multivariate analysis revealed factors predicting malnutrition status within inpatients (OR (95% CI)) were: age (OR = 1.03 (1.01–1.06)); cancer diagnosis (OR = 34.25 (3.16–370.89)); respiratory ward (11.49 (1.05–125.92)); or general medicine ward (20.34 (2.10–196.88)).


Results indicate that malnutrition is a common problem in hospitals in Vietnam. Further research is needed to confirm this finding across a wider range of hospitals and to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of implementation of nutrition interventions in hospital settings.

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