Scientific article
Open access

Analysis of predictors of malnutrition in adult hospitalized patients: social determinants and food security

Published inFrontiers in nutrition, vol. 10, 1149579
Publication date2023-05-09
First online date2023-05-09

Background: Malnutrition in hospitalized patients is becoming a priority during the patient care process due to its implications for worsening health outcomes. It can be the result of numerous social factors beyond clinical ones. This study aimed to evaluate the link between these various risk factors considered social determinants of health, food security levels, and malnutrition and to identify potential predictors.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted on a random sample of adult patients in five different hospitals in Lebanon. Malnutrition was assessed using the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria. Patients were interviewed to collect social and economic characteristics and were categorized into four criteria: (1) area of residence (urbanization level), (2) level of education, (3) employment status, and (4) source of health coverage. The food security level was screened by a validated two-question tool, adapted from the US Department of Agriculture Household Food Security Survey, targeting both quantity and quality.

Results: In a random sample of 343 patients, the prevalence of malnutrition according to the GLIM criteria was 35.6%. Patients with low levels of food security, mainly low quality of food, had higher odds of being malnourished (OR = 2.93). Unemployed or retired patients and those who have only completed only elementary school had higher odds of being diagnosed with malnutrition as compared to those who were employed or had university degrees, respectively (OR = 4.11 and OR = 2.33, respectively). Employment status, education level, and type of health coverage were identified as predictors of malnutrition in the multiple regression model. Household location (urban vs. rural) was not associated with malnutrition.

Conclusion: The social determinants of health identified in our study, mainly the level of education and income level, in addition to food security, were identified as predictors of malnutrition in hospitalized patients. These findings should guide healthcare professionals and national policies to adopt a broader perspective in targeting malnutrition by including social determinants in their nutrition care.

  • Social determinants
  • Food security
  • Hospital malnutrition
  • Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition GLIM
  • Prevalence
  • Health coverage
  • Right to Health
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the United States - Dietitians in Nutrition Support DNS [104037]
Citation (ISO format)
OUAIJAN, Krystel et al. Analysis of predictors of malnutrition in adult hospitalized patients: social determinants and food security. In: Frontiers in nutrition, 2023, vol. 10, p. 1149579. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1149579
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2296-861X

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Creation05/09/2023 9:36:24 AM
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