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Widhalm K et al.  
Malnutrition in hospitalized children aged 3-18 years. Results by using a new score in comparison with previous described scores.

Journal für Ernährungsmedizin 2007; 9 (2): 13-17

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Keywords: ErnährungsmedizinMangelernährungMalnutrition

Background and aims: A universally accepted screening concept for children is not yet available. It is already standard practice among paediatricians to maintain height and weight charts, allowing calculation of growth velocity which is high sensitive to nutritional status. Our goal was to develop a new score, which reflected the respective weighting of the corresponding coefficients, and to compare with two other scores such as Waterlow and Gomez scores. Methods: A new score (Vienna score) should identify the subjects with suspicion malnutrition and the specificity with other scores should be evaluated. The score includes total weight loss > 5 % relative to pre-illness body weight, weight/height percentile < p10 and lack of appetite and laboratory parameters such as serum albumin, total lymphocyte count and Haemoglobin. Result: In our study we tested their applicability in paediatric hospital patients and compared the results of the three scores. 100 patients were included in this study. The Vienna score could identify in 43 % and 15 % of all patients as mild and moderate forms of malnutrition respectively; using the Waterlow score, prevalence of mild, moderate and severe wasting (applying %IBW-H) could be identified in 2 %, 2 % and 1 % respectively and 32 %, 8 % and 9 % of all patients were identified as mild, moderate and severe stunting (applying %BH); by means of the Gomez score (applying %BW), prevalence of mild, moderate and severe forms of malnutrition were appeared in 33 %, 13 % and 5 % of all patients respectively. Conclusions: The Vienna score can identify children at risk of nutritional depletion better than previously described scores and is able to define the moderate form of malnutrition more than the both forms of Waterlow score and as well as Gomez score approximately. Future clinical trials should be performed in order to get more information about the prevalence of malnutrition in various paediatric populations using this score and to investigate whether clinical relevant forms of malnutrition can be identified in an appropriate way.
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