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Predictive Validity of the AAIM Criteria: Multi-site Study

Published March 25, 2024

A multi-site study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated the predictive validity of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) indicators to diagnose malnutrition (AAIM) tool in a cohort of 290 hospitalized adult patients across 32 hospitals in the United States. The AAIM Validation study assessed all six malnutrition indicators: subcutaneous fat loss, muscle loss, weight loss, reduced energy intake, functional status, and fluid accumulation.

After adjusting for disease severity and sociodemographic factors, individuals with severe malnutrition had a higher incidence of emergency department visits and hospital readmissions, while those with moderate malnutrition experienced a longer hospital stay and greater health care resource utilization.

These findings support the predictive validity of the AAIM tool, suggesting its suitability for routine use in diagnosing malnutrition in hospitalized adults. Additionally, use of a simplified AAIM tool is supported for clinical use. The simplified AAIM tool supports a malnutrition diagnosis using at least two of these indicators: weight loss, subcutaneous fat loss, muscle wasting, and inadequate energy intake.

RDNs should consider incorporating the AAIM tool into their nutrition assessments to accurately evaluate malnutrition and to guide their practice. To learn more, read the full manuscript.

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