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, 38 (2), 196-204

Prevalence of Malnutrition and Current Use of Nutrition Support in Patients With Cancer

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Prevalence of Malnutrition and Current Use of Nutrition Support in Patients With Cancer

Xavier Hébuterne et al. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr.

Abstract

Background and aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate on 1 day the prevalence of malnutrition in different types of cancer and the use of nutrition support in patients with cancer.

Methods: A 1-day prevalence survey was carried out in 154 French hospital wards. Malnutrition was defined as a body mass index (BMI) <18.5 in patients <75 years old or <21 in patients ≥75 years old and/or body weight loss >10% since disease onset. Oral food intake was measured using a visual analog scale.

Results: Nutrition status was collected for 1903 patients (1109 men and 794 women, 59.3 ± 13.2 years). Cancer was local in 25%, regional in 31%, and metastatic in 44% of patients. Performance status was 0 or 1 in 49.8%, 2 in 23.7%, 3 or 4 in 19.6% and not available in 6.5% of patients. Overall, 39% of patients were malnourished. The prevalence of malnutrition by disease site was as follows: head and neck, 48.9%; leukemia/lymphoma, 34.0%; lung, 45.3%; colon/rectum, 39.3%; esophagus and/or stomach, 60.2%; pancreas, 66.7%; breast, 20.5%; ovaries/uterus, 44.8%; and prostate, 13.9%. Regional cancer (odds ratio, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.42-2.70), metastatic cancer (2.97; 2.14-4.12), previous chemotherapy (1.41; 1.05-1.89), and previous radiotherapy (1.53; 1.21-1.92) were associated with malnutrition. Only 28.4% of non-malnourished patients and 57.6% of malnourished patients received nutrition support. In all, 55% of patients stated that they were eating less than before the cancer, while 41.4% of patients stated that they had received nutrition counseling.

Conclusions: The prevalence of malnutrition is high in patients with cancer, and systematic screening for and treatment of malnutrition is necessary.

Keywords: cancer; enteral nutrition; malnutrition; oral supplements; parenteral nutrition; screening.

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