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Published online: 2024-05-10

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Frequency of malnutrition in older adults according to different types of cancer

Teodoro J. Oscanoa123, Edwin Cieza-Macedo123, Maryam Pourhassan4, Roman Romero-Ortuno56

Abstract

Introduction. The severity and prevalence of cancer-related malnutrition vary among different cancer types. This study assessed malnutrition frequency in older adults (≥60 years) based on specific cancer types.

Material and methods. An observational, retrospective, case-control study reviewed electronic reports, with (cases) and without cancer (controls) patients. Malnutrition was defined using the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form (MNA-SF).

Results. Malnutrition prevalence was 31.5% in cases and 13.2% in controls (p < 0.001), with an odds ratio (OR) of 3.0; 95% CI: 2.0–4.5; p < 0.001. The highest malnutrition risk was associated with pancreatic cancer (OR: 47.2), followed by head and neck (OR: 18.2), esophagus and stomach (OR: 15.9), lung (OR: 13.3), bile ducts (OR: 18.2), and colorectal (OR: 4.2) cancers (p < 0.001).

Conclusions. The prevalence of malnutrition varies by cancer type, with pancreatic, head and neck, esophagus and stomach and lung cancers showing the highest risk.

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