The Role of Malnutrition in Ninety-Day Outcomes After Total Joint Arthroplasty.
BACKGROUND: Research has linked malnutrition to more complications in total joint arthroplasty (TJA) patients. The role of preoperative albumin in predicting length of stay (LOS) and 90-day outcomes remains understudied. Often, an albumin cut-off ≤3.5 g/dL is used as proxy for malnutrition, although this value remains understudied. This preoperative level may be missing some patients at risk for adverse events post TJA. METHODS: TJA patients at a single institution from 2013 to 2018 were reviewed for preoperative albumin level. In total, 4047 cases (total knee arthroplasty: 2058; total hip arthroplasty: 1989) had available data, including 90-day readmissions, 90-day emergency department (ED) visits, and postoperative LOS. RESULTS: About 5.6% experienced a readmission and 9.6% had at least one ED visit within 90 days. Overall prevalence of malnutrition was 3.6%, and this cohort experienced a longer average LOS (3.5 vs 2.2 days, P < .0001) and was more likely to experience a readmission (16% vs 5%, P < .0001) or ED visit (18% vs 9%, P = .0005). Additionally, albumin ≤3.5 g/dL was correlated with more frequent discharge to skilled nursing facility/rehab (30.8% vs 14.7%, P < .0001), increased risk for 90-day readmission with univariable (odds ratio [OR] 1.79, P < .0001) and multivariable logistic regression (OR 1.55, P < .0001), and increased risk for 90-day ED visits with univariable (OR 1.62, P < .0001) and multivariable regression (OR 1.35, P < .0001). The optimal albumin cut-off was 3.94 g/dL in a univariable model for 90-day readmission. CONCLUSION: Screening for malnutrition may serve a role in preoperative evaluation. An albumin cutoff value of 3.5 g/dL may miss some at-risk patients.
Black, CS; Goltz, DE; Ryan, SP; Fletcher, AN; Wellman, SS; Bolognesi, MP; Seyler, TM
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