Nutritional Assessment of Cancer Patients in Tehran, Iran


Background and objectives: Weight loss and malnutrition are common among cancer patients, these twofactors greatly affecting survival and quality of life during treatment. Since cancer is becoming increasinglycommon in the world and in order to provide better treatment measures, it is important to identify and preventside effects. The present study has been conducted in 2010 on a sample of cancer patients in the oncology center ofShahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences to determine the prevalence rates of malnutrition and the factorsaffecting it.
Methods: The PG-SGA standard questionnaire was administered to 416 cancer patients to evaluatetheir nutrition status and determine the frequency of each malnutrition stage. Correlations and ANOVA testswere used to analyze the relationship between factors and weight loss and how they might affect the developmentof malnutrition.
Results: The prevalence of malnutrition among the patients was 53.1% out of which 29.1% hadmoderate and 24% had severe malnutrition. The most common factors inducing nutritional symptoms weredepression and anorexia. Some 35 % of the patients had over 5% weight loss in the last mouth. The averagePG-SGA score was 10.1 with 49 being the highest. 46.1 percent of the patients scored over 9 (requiring criticalnutrient intervention). Malnutrition has a high correlation with weight loss, activity limitations, nutritionalsymptoms, and cancer stage, but low correlation with treatment and pathologic type.
Conclusion: Malnutritionhas a high prevalence in Iranian cancer patients and has a close relationship with mortality, morbidity andtreatment-related problems and also quality of life. Therefore, periodical assessment by PG-SGA to detectmalnutrition in patients should be made so that appropriate nutritional interventions can be provided.