Nutrition screening and risk factors prior to chemotherapy in cancer patients 65 years and older

McCarthy, Alexandra L., Isenring, Elisabeth, Baumann, Sally, Yates, Patsy, Skerman, Helen M., Walpole, Euan, & Thomson, Damien B (2013) Nutrition screening and risk factors prior to chemotherapy in cancer patients 65 years and older. Supportive Care in Cancer, 21(S1), S220.

View at publisher


Background The largest proportion of cancer patients are aged 65 years and over. Increasing age is also associated with nutritional risk and multi-morbidities—factors which complicate the cancer treatment decision-making process in older patients.

Objectives To determine whether malnutrition risk and Body Mass Index (BMI) are associated with key oncogeriatric variables as potential predictors of chemotherapy outcomes in geriatric oncology patients with solid tumours.

Methods In this longitudinal study, geriatric oncology patients (aged ≥65 years) received a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) for baseline data collection prior to the commencement of chemotherapy treatment. Malnutrition risk was assessed using the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST) and BMI was calculated using anthropometric data. Nutritional risk was compared with other variables collected as part of standard CGA. Associations were determined by chi-square tests and correlations.

Results Over half of the 175 geriatric oncology patients were at risk of malnutrition (53.1%) according to MST. BMI ranged from 15.5–50.9kg/m2, with 35.4% of the cohort overweight when compared to geriatric cutoffs. Malnutrition risk was more prevalent in those who were underweight (70%) although many overweight participants presented as at risk (34%). Malnutrition risk was associated with a diagnosis of colorectal or lung cancer (p=0.001), dependence in activities of daily living (p=0.015) and impaired cognition (p=0.049). Malnutrition risk was positively associated with vulnerability to intensive cancer therapy (rho=0.16, p=0.038). Larger BMI was associated with a greater number of multi-morbidities (rho =.27, p=0.001.

Conclusions Malnutrition risk is prevalent among geriatric patients undergoing chemotherapy, is more common in colorectal and lung cancer diagnoses, is associated with impaired functionality and cognition and negatively influences ability to complete planned intensive chemotherapy.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

167 since deposited on 12 Jun 2013
10 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 60758
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: geriatric oncology, malnutrition risk, comprehensive geriatric assessment
ISSN: 1433-7339
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Springer
Deposited On: 12 Jun 2013 22:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2013 04:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page