Low serum albumin levels resulting from inflammation-induced capillary leakage or disease-related anorexia during acute illness are associated with poor outcomes. We investigated the relationship of nutritional status and inflammation with low serum albumin levels and 30-day mortality in a large cohort..
Among the 2465 patients, 1019 (41%) had low serum albumin levels (<34 g/L), 619 (25.1%) had increased nutritional risk (Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 ≥3), and 1086 (44.1%) had CRP values >20 mg/L.
Multivariate analyses adjusted for age, gender, diagnosis, and comorbidities revealed elevated CRP values (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 10.51, 95% confidence interval, 7.51-14.72, P <.001) and increased malnutrition risk (adjusted OR 2.87, 95% confidence interval, 1.98-4.15, P <.001) to be associated with low serum albumin levels, even adjusting for both parameters. Low serum albumin levels, elevated CRP values, and increased nutritional risk independently predicted 30-day mortality, with areas under the curve of 0.77, 0.70, and 0.75, respectively. Combination of these 3 parameters showed an area under the curve of 0.82 to predict mortality.
Elevated parameters of inflammation and high nutritional risk were independently associated with hypoalbuminemia. All 3 parameters independently predicted mortality. Combining them during initial evaluation of patients in emergency departments facilitates mortality risk stratification.