Nutritional Assessment and Status of Hospitalized Infants

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Malnutrition during infancy has long-term adverse consequences for both physical and psychological development. Early detection of malnutrition among hospitalized infants is essential to provide optimal nutrition support. The primary aim of the present study was to investigate the nutritional status of hospitalized infants using 2 methods: the Subjective Global Nutritional Assessment (SGNA) and anthropometric measurement. We also investigated diagnostic category associated with nutritional status, the mean anthropometric z scores, and explored the association between malnutrition and nutrition focused variables.


Nutritional status of 110 hospitalized infants ages 31 days to 12 months was investigated using the SGNA and anthropometric measurements converted to z scores.


Utilizing the SGNA, 78 (70.9%) infants were classified as having normal nutritional status, 30 (27.3%) were moderately malnourished, and 2 (1.8%) were severely malnourished. The proportion of infants with acute malnutrition (weight-for-length z score <−2) was 16.4%, and chronic malnutrition (length-for-age z score <−2) was 3.6%. The mean anthropometric z scores of infants were significantly lower in infants identified as moderately and severely malnourished using the SGNA. Decrease in serial weight (odds ratio [OR] 44.4; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.3–451.5), having prolonged gastrointestinal symptoms (OR 18.8; 95% CI: 1.5–234.7), and reduced nutrition-related functional capacity (OR 27.6; 95% CI 2.5–301.7) were associated with malnutrition after adjusting for sex, age, and length of hospital stay.


Regardless of the method applied, cases of malnutrition amongst hospitalized infants were identified. The SGNA is a comprehensive approach to identifying malnutrition in hospitalized infants.

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