Clinical and Seasonal Variations of Nutritional Risk Screening in Patients Scheduled for Rehabilitation after Heart Surgery


  • Marko Boban
  • Viktor Persic
  • Zeljko Jovanovic
  • Niksa Drinkovic
  • Milan Milosevic
  • Alessandro Laviano



Background: Current knowledge on the pervasiveness of increased nutritional risk in cardiovascular diseases is limited. Our aim was to analyze the characteristics of nutritional risk screening in patients scheduled for rehabilitation after heart surgery. Prevalence and extent of nutritional risk were studied in connection with patients' characteristics and seasonal climate effects on weight loss dynamics.

Methods: The cohort included 65 consecutive patients with an age range of 25-84 years, 2-6 months after surgical treatment for ischemic or valvular heart disease. Nutritional risk screening was appraised using a standardized NRS-2002 questionnaire. Groups were analyzed according to a timeline of rehabilitation according to the "cold" and "warm" seasons of the moderate Mediterranean climate in Opatija, Croatia.

Results: Increased nutritional risk scores (NRS-2002) of >3 were found in 96% of studied patients. Mean NRS-2002 of patients was 5.0 ± 1.0, with a percentage weight loss history of 11.7% ± 2.2% (4.6-19.0). Risk was found to be more pronounced during the warmer season, with NRS-2002 scores of 5.3 ± 0.7 versus 4.8 ± 1.1 (P = 0.136) and greater loss of weight of 13.0% ± 3.2% versus 10.6% ± 3% (P = 0.005), respectively. Increased nutritional risk correlated significantly with creatinine concentrations (rho = 0.359; P = 0.034 versus 0.584; P = 0.001, respectively). Significant discordance in correlations was found between NRS-2002 and the decrease in left ventricle systolic function (rho correlation coefficient [rho-cc] = -0.428; P = 0.009), the increase in glucose concentrations (cc = 0.600; P < 0.001), and the decrease in erythrocyte counts (cc = -0.520; P = 0.001) during the colder season.

Conclusion: Increased nutritional risk was found to be frequently expressed in the course of rehabilitation after heart surgery. Although seasonal climate effects influenced the weight loss dynamics, the impact on reproducibility of NRS-2002 was clinically less important. Further studies on the connection of nutritional risk with composited end points might offer improvements in overall quality of treatment.


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How to Cite

Boban, M., Persic, V., Jovanovic, Z., Drinkovic, N., Milosevic, M., & Laviano, A. (2013). Clinical and Seasonal Variations of Nutritional Risk Screening in Patients Scheduled for Rehabilitation after Heart Surgery. The Heart Surgery Forum, 16(6), E336-E343.