Nutritional status: Key to preventing functional decline in hospitalized older adults

Rebecca Gary, Julie Fleury

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Despite the fact that protein energy malnutrition (PEM) occurs in as many as 60% of hospitalized older adults, it often goes undetected in many acute care settings. Older patients who have PEM are at significantly higher risk for functional status decline, complications, nursing home placement, and death. If recognized early and treated effectively, the adverse outcomes associated with malnutrition during hospitalization may be alleviated. Increased awareness among health care providers of the significant role nutritional status plays in reducing the negative outcomes associated with hospitalization in older patients is essential. This article reviews key nutritional screening and assessment findings important to consider for the older hospitalized patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-71
Number of pages32
JournalTopics in Geriatric Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospitalized older adults
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Nutritional risk
  • Protein energy malnutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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