Background: Malnutrition leads to decreased survival rate, quality of life and the response to treatment and increases the risk of mortality in patients with cancer. Clinical evaluation is essential for ontime detection and treatment of malnutrition in these patients. On the other hand, patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are expected to have a higher risk of malnutrition due to the poor digestion and malabsorption. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the nutritional status in patients with GI tract cancers with non-GI cancers.
Methods: Sixty-nine patients with GI cancers and 65 patients with other types of cancer participated in this case-control study. Anthropometric evaluation (weight, body mass index (BMI), mid arm circumference, calf circumference) and biochemical indices (albumin, C-Reactive Protein (CRP)) were measured and the Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) questionnaire was completed to assess the nutritional status of the patients.
Results: BMI, weight and serum albumin levels were significantly lower in patients with GI cancers. Other anthropometric measurements were lower in the case group and the serum CRP level was higher than the control group, although they were not statistically significant. The incidence of malnutrition was higher in case group compared to the control group, but it was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Anthropometric, biochemical and SGA evaluation showed a poor nutritional status in patients with GI cancer compared to other forms of cancer. Therefore, early assessment of the nutritional status of patients with cancer can be effective in order to initiate a nutritional intervention.