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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


PEREZ CAMARGO, Dana Aline et al. Anorexia-cachexia frequency and its gastrointestinal symptoms association in paliative patients at the Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, México. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.4, pp.891-895. ISSN 1699-5198.

Background: Anorexia-cachexia is a frequent syndrome among cancer patients, specially in late stages: the global prevalence of para-neoplastic anorexia-cachexia ranges between 20-40% in the diagnostic stage and between 70-80% in the late stage of the disease. The co-existence of functional or structural digestive abnormalities is frequently observed among cancer patients; this is a consequence of the tumor growth and of those systemic phenomena related to metabolism, which are affected by the relationship tumor-host specific to anorexia-cachexia. Objective: This study aimed at establishing the frequency of anorexia-cachexia, as well as its relationship to GI symptoms in the context of palliative care patients at the Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Mexico City. Methods and material: Analytic cross-sectional study including 100 patients diagnosed with late-stage cancer, age range 18-80, and a Karnofsky score > 50, as well as an ECOG <2; patients with a bad general health status were not allowed in the study. After reviewing inclusion and exclusion criteria, participants fulfilled the FAACT questionnaire, as well as the EGS. Patients recruitment was carried out by the Instituto Nacional de Cancerología. Results and discussion: Results show that 61% (n=61) of the patients had anorexia-cachexia, and 39% (n=39) did not. 56% of the sample participants (n=34) were women, and 44% (n=27) were men. GI symptoms associated with anorexia-cachexia were: nausea (p= 0.0001), vomiting (p=0.004), early satiety (p=0.0005), dysgeusia (p=0.0005) and dysphagia (p=0.001). Conclusion: Anorexia and cachexia are among the most devastating and frequent symptoms in late-stage cancer patients and they are also associated with GI symptoms affecting the physical, psychosocial and existential aspects of the patient's life. Data from this research validate the importance of an early nutrition support in palliative patients so that they can achieve a better quality of life.

Keywords : Anorexia-cachexia syndrome; Palliative patients; GI symptoms; Cancer.

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