Dietary intake/Resting Energy Expenditure:Weight Loss/Survival

Dietary intake, resting energy expenditure, weight loss and survival in cancer patients.

Bosaeus I, Daneryd P, Lundholm K

Departments of Clinical Nutrition and. Surgery, Goteborg University, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, S-413 45 Goteborg, Sweden.

Anorexia, hypermetabolism and weight loss are common in advanced cancer. The progressive wasting may be due to diminished dietary intake as well as to increased energy expenditure mediated by metabolic alterations caused by the tumor.

We studied dietary intake, resting energy expenditure and weight loss in 297 patients with generalized malignant disease and their relation to survival. Patients were examined cross-sectionally at entry into an outpatient palliative care program that included anti-inflammatory treatment and nutritional counseling.

Survivors were studied longitudinally after 4 mo during palliative care. We found at entry that the patients' mean dietary intake was low. Weight loss of >10% was present in 43% of the patients, and hypermetabolism was present in 48%. Dietary intake did not differ between normometabolic and hypermetabolic patients, nor was tumor type or gender related to energy and protein intake.

Weight loss could not be accounted for by diminished dietary intake alone. Increased resting energy expenditure was not compensated for by an increase in spontaneous food intake.

These findings indicate that feedback regulation of dietary intake in relation to energy expenditure is frequently lost in patients with cancer. Hypermetabolism and weight loss were significant predictors of decreased survival. Mean survival time was about 8 mo; 189 patients survived 4 mo or more, and 153 could be reexamined. At the 4-mo follow-up during palliative care, group mean weight was nearly maintained, with large individual variations.

Weight loss during follow-up predicted decreased survival.

Energy intake increased slightly, also with great variation, and an increased energy intake predicted longer survival.

J Nutr 2002 Nov;132(11):3465S-6S

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