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Malnutrition is consistently underdiagnosed, and consequently undertreated, in hospitalized U.S. adult and pediatric patients. When compared to patients with similar diseases who are well-nourished, malnourished patients have longer hospital stays, higher risk of readmission, greater mortality up to three years after discharge, and higher hospital costs. One of the challenges of systematically diagnosing malnutrition is a lack of a gold standard for diagnosis. Recently, in an attempt to come to an agreement on how to best diagnose malnutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition recommended a standard set of diagnostic indicators for adult and pediatric malnutrition. The recommended malnutrition clinical characteristics (MCC) for adults include insufficient energy intake, weight loss, loss of muscle mass, loss of subcutaneous fat, fluid accumulation, and diminished functional status (measured via hand grip strength). While the MCC were identified based on the available evidence, using a consensus driven process, there is still a need to establish their validity. The purpose of this study is to establish the validity of the adult and pediatric Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics (MCC).


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