PURPOSE: The purpose of this prospective multi-institutional study was to evaluate the nutritional status of patients undergoing radiotherapy (RT) for treatment of head and neck, lung, or gastrointestinal cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 1,000 patients were enrolled in this study at seven different hospitals in Seoul, Korea between October 2009 and May 2010. The nutritional status of patients after receiving 3 weeks of RT was evaluated using subjective global assessment (SGA). The nutritional status of each patient was rated as well nourished (A), moderately malnourished (B), or severely malnourished (C).
RESULTS: The mean age of patients in this study was 59.4 ± 11.9 years, and the male to female ratio was 7:3. According to the SGA results, 60.8%, 34.5%, and 4.7% of patients were classified as A, B, or C, respectively. The following criteria were significantly associated with malnutrition (SGA B or C; p < 0.001): loss of subcutaneous fat or muscle wasting (odds ratio [OR], 11.473); increased metabolic demand/stress (OR, 8.688); ankle, sacral edema, or ascites (OR, 3.234); and weight loss ≥5% (OR, 2.299).
CONCLUSION: SGA was applied successfully to assess the nutritional status of most patients. The prevalence of malnutrition in a radiation oncology department was 39.2%. The results of this study serve as a basis for implementation of nutrition intervention to patients being treated at radiation oncology departments.