Prevalence and Characteristics of Anemia in Patients with Solid Cancers at Diagnosis in Southwest China


Purpose: Cancer-related anemia is common and may have myriad causes, but the physiological consequences of a low hemoglobin level are similar. Besides chemotherapy-induced anemia, it is also important to understand the anemia in treatment-naïve patients, which may represent a consequence of cancer itself and/or cancer complications, and this may help assess anemia risk and facilitate appropriate treatment. The purpose of this study was to analyze the prevalence and characteristics of anemia in solid cancer patients at diagnosis in a Chinese population.
Methods: 1133 patients with newly diagnosed cancers who were admitted to West China Hospital of Sichuan University during January 2010 to May 2011 met the inclusion criteria. Data on age, gender, change of food intake, the diagnosis and the stage of the tumor, bleeding history, the locations of metastasis, and blood cell analysis were searched and analyzed.
Results: Prevalence of anemia at diagnosis of cancers was 18.98% in unclassified cancers. Gastric cancers, colorectal cancers, and hepatopancreatobiliary cancers occupied the first three ranks in the cohort. Age, decreased food intake, and bleeding history were identified as independent risk factors for anemia occurrence. Furthermore, decreased food intake was found to be also associated with the severity of anemia.
Conclusion: Our analysis described the prevalence and risk factors of anemia in new diagnosed solid cancer patients in China. To deal with cancer-related anemia, we suggest that it should be important to improve food intake and nutrition, while controlling bleeding, especially in elderly patients.