Research Article| Volume 26, ISSUE 2, P448-453, February 2017

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Combination of Low Body Mass Index and Low Serum Albumin Level Leads to Poor Functional Recovery in Stroke Patients


      Nutritional status is associated with the functional recovery of stroke patients. This study aimed to examine the influence of the combination of body mass index (BMI) and serum albumin level on functional recovery in subacute stroke patients.


      This retrospective cohort study included 259 subacute stroke patients (mean age 68.9 ± 12.3 years). Patients were categorized into 4 groups according to their BMI and serum albumin level: group 1, low BMI (<18.5 kg/m2) and low serum albumin level (<3.5 g/dL); group 2, low BMI and high serum albumin level (≥3.5 g/dL); group 3, normal weight (≥18.5 kg/m2) and low serum albumin level; and group 4, normal weight and high serum albumin level. The outcome variable was the motor subscale of the Functional Independence Measure (M-FIM) effectiveness. We defined the first quartile of M-FIM effectiveness as poor functional recovery. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the influence of the combination of BMI and serum albumin level on poor functional recovery.


      Multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for baseline characteristics (reference, group 4) showed that group 1 was mostly associated with a significant risk of poor functional recovery (odds ratio, 4.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.53-11.15).


      Our results suggested that the combination of low BMI and low serum albumin level was more significantly associated with poor functional recovery in subacute stroke patients than either factor alone. The combination of BMI and serum albumin level should be taken into account when predicting functional recovery in subacute stroke patients.

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