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Blood biomarkers as potential malnutrition screening alternatives among adult patients with cancer on treatment in oncology unit of jimma tertiary hospital: A cross-sectional analysis

BMC Nutr. 2023 Mar 3;9(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s40795-023-00694-0.


BACKGROUND: Cancer is becoming the most common global public health concern. Early malnutrition detection and treatment in patients with cancer is an important aspect of cancer management. Although Subjective global assessment (SGA) is a gold standard nutritional assessment tool, it is not routinely utilized due to it is tedious and needs patient literacy. Thus, early detection of malnutrition necessitates alternative parameters comparable with SGA. Therefore this study aims to evaluate serum albumin, Total Protein (TP), and Hemoglobin (Hgb) and their correlation with malnutrition in patients with cancer at Jimma Medical Center (JMC).

METHODS: Facility based cross-sectional study was conducted from October 15 to December 15, 2021 G.C at JMC among a total of 176 adult patients with cancer selected via a systematic sampling technique. Nutritional status and behavioural data were collected using the SGA tool and a structured questionnaire. Five ml of venous blood was collected and the level of serum albumin, TP and Hgb were measured using Cobas®6000 chemistry analyzer and hematology analyzer UniCel DxH 800. Descriptive statistics, independent t-test, Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r), and logistic regression analysis were implemented for analysis.

RESULT: From the total of 176 study participants, 69.3% were females and the mean age was 50.1 ± 13.7 years. Based on SGA, 61.4% of the patients were malnourished. There was a significant decrease in the mean level of serum albumin, TP and Hgb in malnourished as compared to well-nourished patients. Serum albumin(r=-0.491), TP(r=-0.270), and Hgb (r=-0.451) had a significant correlation with SGA tool. Stage IV cancer AOR = 4.98 (1.23-20.07), Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer AOR = 3.39(1.29-8.88) and malnutrition AOR = 3.9(1.81-8.4) were significantly associated with hypoalbuminemia. Similarly, age of > 64 years AOR = 6.44(1.55-26.67), GI cancer AOR = 2.92(1.01-6.29) and malnutrition AOR = 3.14(1.43-6.94) were significantly associated with hypoproteinemia; and stage-IV cancer AOR = 3.94(1.11-13.35) and malnutrition AOR = 3.8(1.82-8.2) were significantly associated with low Hgb level.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION: Altered level of serum albumin, TP and Hgb was correlated with the SGA tool of malnutrition. Therefore, it is suggested to be used as an alternative or additional screening tool for prompt detection of malnutrition in adult patients with cancer.

PMID:36869395 | DOI:10.1186/s40795-023-00694-0

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