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Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec;30(6):774-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.03.003. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Long term nutritional status and quality of life following major upper gastrointestinal surgery - a cross-sectional study.

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Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050 Sydney, Australia.



Major upper gastrointestinal surgery results in permanent alterations to the gastrointestinal tract, and previously been shown to impair nutritional status. The aim of this study was to assess long term nutritional status and quality of life in people having had major upper gastrointestinal surgery, and the relationship between the two measures.


People having had major upper gastrointestinal surgery greater than 6 months ago were recruited. Nutrition assessment included weight, anthropometry, Subjective Global Assessment, dietary intake and assessment of gastrointestinal symptoms; quality of life was assessed using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Associations between nutritional status, type of surgery and quality of life were analysed.


Thirty people were recruited with fourteen people showing a degree of malnutrition according to subjective global assessment. Total gastrectomy and oesophagectomy surgery resulted in significantly higher percent weight loss than those having undergone pancreaticoduodenectomy (p = 0.01). Subjective global assessment correlated with quality of life (p = 0.003). Subjective global assessment and gastrointestinal symptoms were both significant variables in explaining quality of life (p < 0.001).


Nutritional status in this group was significantly compromised, and impacted on quality of life. Individualised nutrition intervention to address malnutrition and gastrointestinal symptoms should be integrated into post surgery management.

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