Sarcopenia as a predictor of nutritional status and comorbidities in hospitalized patients with cancer: A cross-sectional study

Nutrition. 2020 May;73:110703. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2019.110703. Epub 2019 Dec 14.


Objectives: Sarcopenia promotes worsening of nutritional status and an increase in comorbidities. Likewise, use of validated instruments to assess nutritional and comorbidity factors are warranted. Thus, the objectives were to assess the prevalence of risk for sarcopenia and to determine whether there is an association between sarcopenia and nutritional status and comorbidities in hospitalized patients with cancer.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with 77 patients with different types of cancer. Both men and women were enrolled. The risk for sarcopenia was assessed by the Strength, Assistance With Walking, Rise From a Chair, Climb Stairs, and Falls (SARC-F) questionnaire. Patients were divided into two groups: risk for sarcopenia (SARC-F score ≥4) and no risk for sarcopenia (SARC-F score <4). The presence of comorbidities and nutritional risks were analyzed using Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and Nutrition Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002), respectively. Logistic and multiple regression analyses were used to verify the association and predictive factors of SARC-F.

Results: Of the 77 patients, 40.2% (n = 31; 63.48 ± 10.59 y of age) were classified as having a risk for sarcopenia and 59.7% (n = 46; 51.20 ± 12.81 y of age) without risk. We found an association between the risk for sarcopenia and CCI and NRS-2002 in crude model and after adjustment for age. Additionally, SARC-F is a good predictor of the increase of CCI (β = 0.357, R² = 0.29, P = 0.003) and NRS-2002 (β = 0.519, R² = 0.49, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: In the present study, ∼40% of patients with cancer had a risk for sarcopenia and a greater prediction for nutritional risk (49%) and comorbidities (29%).

Keywords: Cancer; Comorbidities; Nutrition risk; SARC-F; Sarcopenia.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Nutritional Status
  • Sarcopenia* / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires