Aim. To investigate the incidence of hospital-acquired malnutrition (HAM), the criteria used to diagnose it, and its health-related outcomes. Methods. We performed a search of the following databases up to September 26,2020: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase and Cochrane Library. Studies were included if changes in nutritional status was assessed with a validated nutrition assessment tool in acute and subacute adult (≥18 years) hospitalised patients. Results. (preliminary): Ten observational cohort studies (eight prospective and two retrospective) were included, involving 35 256 participants from acute (seven studies) and subacute units (three studies). Retrospective studies reported a lower incidence of HAM (0.15%-1%) than prospective studies (acute: 9%-38%; subacute: 0%-7.4%). Diagnostic criteria varied, with use of different nutrition assessment tools; timeframes for assessment (retrospective studies: >14 days; prospective studies:≥3 days); and inclusion of patients with new malnutrition vs increase in malnutrition severity. Three studies reported health outcomes of nutritional decline, including longer length of stay,...

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