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Sao Paulo Med J. 2005 Nov 3;123(6):277-81. Epub 2006 Jan 20.

High prevalence of malnutrition among patients with solid non-hematological tumors as found by using skinfold and circumference measurements.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Instituto de Oncologia Pediátrica, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rue Botucato 743, CEP 04023-062 São Paulo, SP, Brazil. adrigarofalo@hotmail.com

Abstract

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE:

Malnutrition in cancer patients has many causes. Nutritional status is usually assessed from weight/height indices. These present limitations for the nutritional assessment of cancer patients: their weights include tumor mass, and lean mass changes are not reflected in weight/height indices. The objective was to evaluate differences between two anthropometric methods and compare deficits, in non-hematological tumor patients and hematological disease patients.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Cross-sectional study at Instituto de Oncologia Pediátrica, Universidade Federal de São Paulo.

METHODS:

Children and adolescents were evaluated between March 1998 and January 2000. Traditional anthropometric measurements were obtained in the first month of treatment (induction therapy), by weight-for-height (W/H) using z-scores index for children and body mass index (BMI) for adolescents. Body composition evaluations consisted of specific anthropometric measurements: triceps skinfold thickness (TSFT), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and arm muscle circumference (AMC). Data were analyzed to compare nutritional assessment methods for diagnosing malnutrition prevalence. The chi-squared test was used for comparative analyses between tumor patients and hematological disease patients.

RESULTS:

Analysis was done on 127 patients with complete data. Higher percentages of deficits were found among tumor patients, by W/H z-scores or BMI and by MUAC and AMC. Higher percentages of deficits were shown by TSFT (40.2%) and MUAC (35.4%) than by W/H z-scores or BMI (18.9%).

CONCLUSION:

Non-hematological tumor patients presented higher malnutrition prevalence than did hematological disease patients. Body composition measurements by TSFT and MUAC detected more patients with malnutrition than did W/H or BMI.

PMID:
16444387
DOI:
/S1516-31802005000600005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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