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Serum Albumin Level on Admission as a Predictor of Death, Length of Stay, and Readmission

FranÇois R. Herrmann, MD, MPH; Charles Safran, MD; Sue E. Levkoff, ScD; Kenneth L. Minaker, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(1):125-130. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400130135017.
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We studied the serum albumin level within 48 hours of hospitalization for acute illness to predict in-hospital death, length of stay, and readmission in 15 511 patients older than 40 years. Patients with low serum albumin levels (<34 g/L), who made up 21% of the population, were more likely to die, had longer hospital stays, and were readmitted sooner and more frequently than patients with normal albumin levels. The in-hospital mortality was 14% among patients with low albumin levels, as compared with 4% among patients with normal levels. Although the serum albumin level was a nonspecific marker, it was a stronger predictor of death, length of stay, and readmission than age. We conclude that the serum albumin level on admission is an important variable that should be incorporated in severityof-illness measures based on physiologic indexes.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:125-130)

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