<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was assessment of the prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalized patients with cancer of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> The study was conducted between February and April of 2005 in 37 centers. Assessment of nutritional status was made according to a Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) and a Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) questionnaire.
<bold>Results.</bold> Nutritional status was evaluated in 2553 patients with cancer of the gastrointestinal tract (64.9%), respiratory tract (29.8%) and other cancer (5.2%). Hypoalbuminemia was found in 37.3% of patients. In 22% of patients, the body mass index (BMI) was below normal. According to the SGA scale, nutritional status was A in 51.1% of patients, B in 39.3%, and C in 9.7%. Nutritional status in patients with cancer of the gastrointestinal tract was A in 48.0%, B in 40.8%, and C in 11.2%. Nutritional status in patients with cancer of the respiratory tract was A in 55.4%, B in 37.4%, and C in 7.2%. Malnutrition was not found in 64.2% of patients with large bowel cancer but, in contrast, was found in 70.7% of patients with cancer of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. There were differences depending on kind of hospitalization: planned (A - 53.1%, B - 38.3%, C - 8.6%) or emergency (A - 27.4%, B - 46.3%, C - 26.2%). In 31.7% of cases, divergence between the SGA and PG-SGA scale was noted. Mostly, the divergence consisted in underestimation of malnutrition. According to the PG-SGA scale, nutritional treatment is indicated in 75.5% of patients; according to SGA scale, only in 49.0%.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> 1. According to SGA scale, malnutrition was diagnosed in 49.0% of patients hospitalized because of cancer, in 52% of patients with cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and 44.6% with cancer of the respiratory tract. 2. According to the PG-SGA scale, there is a need for nutritional treatment in 75.5% of patients hospitalized because of cancer of the gastrointestinal or respiratory tract. 3. Use of the scored PG-SGA allows for identification of malnourished patients in whom, according to SGA, malnutrition is not diagnosed.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.