Nutrition Affects Recovery From Heart Surgery

Nutrition Affects Recovery From Heart Surgery
Nutrition Affects Recovery From Heart Surgery

Video: Nutrition Affects Recovery From Heart Surgery

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Nutritional deficiency is a deficiency of macro- (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, provitamins, various minerals, etc.) necessary for the body to function normally. In oncology, pediatrics, gastroenterology, the problem of nutrition is treated with great attention, but patients with cardiac surgery do not receive such attention. Therefore, in 2011, SPbU scientists began a study, one of the tasks of which was to identify the prevalence of nutritional deficiency among people who underwent heart surgery.

In medicine, there is a special term - cardiac cachexia, which is called the extreme exhaustion of the body in patients with severe heart failure. Among the symptoms of the disease are weakness and rapid weight loss, as a result of which nutrients are not supplied to the body in the required volume, and the cause can be both low cardiac output and taking drugs that reduce appetite. Complicating the situation is the fact that patients with this diagnosis most often do not look hungry, and due to edema it may even seem that they are overweight. That is why it was important for scientists to find a reliable tool for detecting this condition.

For eight years, researchers followed more than a thousand subjects who had undergone heart surgery. Upon admission to the clinic, using a questionnaire survey on various scales, the patients' nutritional status was revealed - a set of indicators characterizing the quantitative ratio of muscle and fat mass. Later, at the stage of one, three and eight years, they were called to inquire about their well-being.

“As a result, we found that nutritional status allows us to determine the likelihood of postoperative complications. As expected, the higher the degree of nutritional deficiency, the higher the likelihood of a negative scenario. In addition, we were able to identify a narrow cohort of cardiac surgery patients who are more susceptible to this condition. They are patients with valvular heart disease,”says the author of the article, anesthesiologist-resuscitator, head of the research department of the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies, St. Petersburg State University, Sergei Efremov.

According to the scientist, there are several scales for assessing nutritional status in the world, but none of them has been developed specifically for patients with cardiovascular pathology. Comparing them, the researchers selected the screening tool that has the highest sensitivity and specificity for solving the problem. It was the MUST scale (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool), which can be introduced into the routine work of clinics. Any medical worker in the admission department is capable of assessing the patient's condition with its help. If the scale reveals malnutrition, a doctor will join the case and receive detailed information about the patient's nutritional status.

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