Malnutrition common among elders hospitalized for cancer

  • de Pinho NB & al.
  • Cancer
  • 9 Sep 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Malnutrition is prevalent among older patients hospitalized for cancer, a Brazilian study suggests.

Why this matters

  • Findings support early and systematic assessment and treatment of nutrition impact symptoms (NIS) to improve outcomes in patients aged >50 years.

Study design

  • Cross-sectional study of 4783 patients aged ≥20 years admitted to 45 public hospitals.
  • Patients were stratified by age ≥65 (31.2%), 51-64 (35.2%), or ≤50 (33.6%) years.
  • Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) score was used to evaluate nutritional status, risk, and NIS.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Overall prevalence of stage B (moderate/suspected) and C (severe) malnourishment was 45.3%.
  • Prevalence was higher (P<.001 at age than and years.>
  • Patients with PG-SGA scores ≥9 (45.7%)—indicating critical need for intervention—had higher prevalence of NIS, including no appetite (58.1%), nausea (38.3%), dry mouth (37.1%), and vomiting (26.0%).
  • Using age ≤50 years as a reference, patients aged ≥65 and 51-64 years had an increased likelihood of certain NIS, including (all P<.05 style="list-style-type:circle;">
  • No appetite (OR=1.90, 1.45);
  • Problems swallowing (OR=1.43, 1.56); and
  • Dry mouth (OR=1.40, 1.22).
  • Patients aged ≥65 vs ≤50 years had greater odds of weight loss (OR=1.35) and decreased activity/function (OR=1.58; both P<.05>

    Limitations

    • Observational design.