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Malnutrition linked with increased mortality in patients with gastrointestinal cancers

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Patients with gastrointestinal cancers (GIC) who were malnourished had more advanced disease and an increased mortality compared to patients with a good nutritional status, according to a study.

The temporal trends of mortality and resource utilization were analyzed for 2,645,285 patients with GIC admitted to the hospital between 2012 and 2106. A total of 6.1% of patients included in the study died. There were 11.1% of patients with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), with esophageal, gastric, and small intestine cancers the most common cancer types associated with PEM. PEM was more common in men, African Americans, and those with Charlson comorbidity index > = 2.

Compared to patients with good nutritional status, patients who were malnourished were more often terminally ill (48.8% vs 39.8%), in an intensive care unit (7.89% vs 3.75%), more likely to be seen by palliative care team (17.6 % vs 9.8%), and more likely to die (9.6% vs 5.70%, OR-1.76; p <0.01).

From 2012 to 2016, there was a significant increase in incidence, mortality, and total charge of PEM in patients with GIC.

Katiyar V, Vohra I, Lingamaneni P, et al. Incidence, mortality and hospital resource utilization in patients with gastrointestinal cancer and malnutrition: A nationwide analysis. J Clin Oncol.  2021; 9, no. 3_suppl (January 20, 2021) 466-466.