Malnutrition as predictor of poor outcome after total hip arthroplasty. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 45, 51–56 (2021).

Malnutrition as predictor of poor outcome after total hip arthroplasty

Eminovic, S., Vincze, G., Eglseer, D. et al.


The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of protein energy malnutrition (PEM) and correlation with poor post-operative outcome in the elderly undergoing primary total hip arthroplasty (THA).


Patients with PEM would have inferior post-operative outcome after THA.

Materials and method

We retrospectively evaluated the nutritional status of 220 hospitalized patients undergoing THA, 65 years and older. PEM was assessed using serum albumin and total lymphocyte count (TLC). Studied outcome parameters were length of pre-operative and post-operative stay, complications up to six months after surgery and 12-month mortality. Clinical and demographic data were retrieved from medical records from the hospital database.


The prevalence of PEM among patients undergoing THA was 12.3% (27/220). Patients with PEM were significantly older (mean age 81.3 ± 7.0, p < 0.001), had a lower BMI (24.7 ± 4.1 kg/m 2, p = 0.022), and showed more comorbid conditions (mean CCI 2.8 ± 2.0, p = 0.002) compared with well-nourished patients (age 75.6 ± 6.2, BMI 26.8 ± 4.3 kg/m 2, CCI: 1.7 ± 1.7). Length of pre-operative stay differed significantly (p < 0.001) between PEM (median 7, range 1–36 days) and non PEM (median 1, range 1–22 days). In the PEM group, 12 (44.4%) patients had post-operative complications within six months after OP and 15 (7.8%) patients in the non PEM group (HR = 6.3, 95% CI 1.7–23.1).


We observed a higher post-operative complication rate for malnourished patients undergoing elective THA. These results underline the importance of pre-operative nutritional assessment in the elderly. Therefore, serum albumin and TLC are valuable clinical markers of PEM and the post-operative outcome.

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