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Risk score for life expectancy of hospital patients

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Researchers have developed what they say is the world’s first prognosis scoring system for hospital patients and their life expectancy within the next 30 days.

The scoring system, called Pandora, is the result of a 10-year study by the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, which is focused on nutrition in care settings.

“The Pandora score is a simple, robust scoring system for a general population of hospitalised patients”

Study authors

The researchers said they set out to develop a “simple scoring system” to predict 30-day mortality of inpatients – excluding intensive care units – based on “easily obtainable demographic, disease and nutrition related patient data”.

The overall aim of the project is to create a global map detailing the frequency of malnutrition and the nutritional condition of patients. Nearly 60 countries, including 32 in Europe, are involved.

Details of the Pandora score – Patient And Nutrition-Derived Outcome Risk Assessment – have just been published in the journal PloS One.

Data from more than 43,000 patients was gathered from 2,480 medical institutions in 59 countries to develop the score, and the data was validated with a further 13,000 patient surveys.

To determine the score, patients were asked about simple parameters such as age, height and weight, and also for a personal estimate of their mobility and eating behaviour – as well as their general condition.

“It may even be conceivable in future to develop an online risk calculator which patients can complete themselves”

Michael Hiesmayr

Specifically the score predicts 30-day hospital mortality based on seven indicators – age, nutrient intake, mobility, fluid status, body mass index, cancer and specialty of ward.

Using a weighted points system, the study authors said a general risk score can be calculated that can be used to ensure high quality individual patient care and also to obtain indicators of any undetected background condition.

The study authors said: “The Pandora score is a simple, robust scoring system for a general population of hospitalised patients to be used for risk stratification and benchmarking.”

Lead researcher Professor Michael Hiesmayr, head of cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia and intensive care medicine at MedUni Vienna, added: “It may even be conceivable in future to develop an online risk calculator which patients can complete themselves if they are able to.”

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