Background: During the initial phase of critical illness, the association between the dose of nutrition support and mortality risk may vary among patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) because the prevalence of malnutrition varies widely (28 to 78%), and not all ICU patients are severely ill. Therefore, we hypothesized that a prognostic model that integrates nutritional status and disease severity could accurately predict mortality risk and classify critically ill patients into low- and high-risk groups. Additionally, in critically ill patients placed on exclusive nutritional support (ENS), we hypothesized that their risk categories could modify the association between dose of nutrition support and mortality risk. Methods: A prognostic model that predicts 28-day mortality was built from a prospective cohort study of 440 patients. The association between dose of nutrition support and mortality risk was evaluated in a subgroup of 252 mechanically ventilated patients via logistic regressions, stratified by low- and high-risk groups, and days of exclusive nutritional support (ENS) [short-term (≤ 6 days) vs. longer-term (≥ 7 days)]. Only the first 6 days of ENS was evaluated for a fair comparison. Results: The prognostic model demonstrated good discrimination [AUC 0.78 (95% CI 0.73-0.82), and a bias-corrected calibration curve suggested fair accuracy. In high-risk patients with short-term ENS (≤ 6 days), each 10% increase in goal energy and protein intake was associated with an increased adjusted odds (95% CI) of 28-day mortality [1.60 (1.19-2.15) and 1.47 (1.12-1.86), respectively]. In contrast, each 10% increase in goal protein intake during the first 6 days of ENS in high-risk patients with longer-term ENS (≥ 7 days) was associated with a lower adjusted odds of 28-day mortality [0.75 (0.57-0.99)]. Despite the opposing associations, the mean predicted mortality risks and prevalence of malnutrition between short- and longer-term ENS patients were similar. Conclusions: Combining baseline nutritional status and disease severity in a prognostic model could accurately predict 28-day mortality. However, the association between the dose of nutrition support during the first 6 days of ENS and 28-day mortality was independent of baseline disease severity and nutritional status.
Bibliographical noteThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
- Critical illness
- Nutritional support