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Lung India. 2019 Jul-Aug;36(4):295-298. doi: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_369_17.

Alterations in body composition in Indian patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

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Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Alterations in body composition are common in cancer and may affect outcomes differentially based on geographical and ethnic factors. However, data in lung cancer are sparse and conflicting.


We compared the body composition of Indian lung cancer patients with healthy subjects using a retrospective review of all newly diagnosed patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer. Age- and sex-matched healthy controls were recruited prospectively. Basal metabolic rate (BMR), total body water (TBW), fat mass, and fat-free mass (FFM) were calculated by bioelectric impedance method.


A total of 256 patients (83.6% males) and 210 controls (81.4% males) were studied. The mean (standard deviation) age of patients was 54.5 (9.0) years, median smoking index was 598.2 (range, 0-2500), and median Karnofsky performance scale (KPS) was 80 (range, 40-100). Majority (54.7%) had Stage IV disease. All components of body composition, i.e., BMR, TBW, fat mass, and FFM, were significantly lower (P < 0.01) in patients as compared to controls. Body mass index, fat mass, FFM, and TBW were lower in older subjects with poorer KPS. The presence of metastasis or symptom duration did not affect body composition.


These results indicate that Indian patients with lung cancer have altered body composition which declines with increasing age and worsening performance status.


Body composition; lung cancer; performance status

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