An epidemiological evaluation of the prevalence of malnutrition in Spanish patients with locally advanced or metastatic cancer.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Clin Nutr, 2005, 24 (5), pp. 801 - 814
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OBJECTIVE: Malnutrition is frequent in cancer. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, in Spain, of malnutrition in cancer patients with advanced disease and to assess the therapeutic focus. METHODS: A total of 781 patients were evaluated to determine individual nutritional status using the Scored Patient Generated-Subjective Global Assessment (Scored PG-SGA) questionnaire. Almost 60% of the patients included were receiving cancer treatment. RESULTS: Patients with the highest weight loss were those with tumours of oesophagus (57%), stomach (50%) and larynx (47%). Serious eating problems were encountered by 68% of the patients; the principal problem being anorexia (42.2%). The median number of symptoms impeding food intake was 2. According to the Scored PG-SGA, 52% of the patients were moderately or severely malnourished and 97.6% required some form of nutritional intervention/recommendation. CONCLUSIONS: (a) the majority of patients in the study needed nutritional intervention; (b) more than 50% had moderate or severe malnutrition; (c) the Scored PG-SGA is a useful and simple tool for evaluating nutritional status and contains additional information on nutritional recommendations; (d) nutritional evaluation of the cancer patients needs to be improved so as to offer better treatment of symptoms and to improve the patient's quality of life.
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