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Nutrición Hospitalaria

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


TRISTAN-ASENSI, Marta et al. Quality of life and nutritional status of a group of post-operative head and neck cancer patients. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2023, vol.40, n.5, pp.919-923.  Epub Feb 05, 2024. ISSN 1699-5198.


scientific evidence on the appropriate nutritional support in the treatment of post-operative head and neck cancer (HNC) patients is still limited.


our aim was to evaluate nutritional status and quality of life in HNC patients in post-operative phase with different nutritional support.


fifty-four HNC patients (26 with enteral nutrition [EN] via percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy [PEG] and 28 with oral nutrition [ON]) were included. Nutritional status was evaluated with biochemical parameters and quality of life through the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30).


ON patients reported significantly (p < 0.05) lower levels of hemoglobin, lymphocytes, iron, folic acid, and vitamin D than EN patients, with greater percentage of ON patients found to be below the reference limits for hemoglobin (21.4 % vs 19.4 %), and significantly for serum iron (17.9 % vs 0 %) and vitamin D (78.6 % vs 30.8 %). Furthermore, EN patients had a better quality of life (63.8 ± 17.6) than ON (55.4 ± 20.3), although ON patients reported less symptoms related to dyspnea (-5.8 %), loss of appetite (-11.3 %) and vomiting (-23.1 %).


these results suggest that the use of EN in post-operative HNC patients could have a positive effect on the nutritional status and quality of life of these patients. However, further research is needed to optimize the nutritional support in these patients in order to avoid malnutrition and improve their well-being.

Keywords : Malnutrition; Nutritional status; Cancer; Quality of life; Head and neck cancer.

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