Background Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and it is considered that every fourth person dies of it. Under-nutrition is most commonly seen in cancer patients with some types of solid tumors, various chronic diseases, as well as in older persons and young children. This can result in longer hospital stay, reduced response to therapies, increased complications to therapy and surgery proceedings, poor survival and higher care costs. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and factors associated with under-nutrition on cancer patients attending Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia.
Methods Cross-sectional study was conducted from September to October 2018 among 347 cancer patients in Tikur Anbessa Specialized hospital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All cancer patients 18–65 years of age who were on the 2nd cycle and above treatment phase were included. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires and the Patient Generated-Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) score. Data was entered into Epi-Info version 7 and exported and analyzed by SPSS version 20. Both bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to identify the associated factors. Variables with 𝑃 value of less than 0.05 were considered as significant predictors.
Results The prevalence of under-nutrition according to PG-SGA score result 202 (63.1%) and 88(27.5%) of the participants were moderately and severely undernourished, respectively. BMI of the participants also showed that 206 (64.4%) and 89 (27.8%) were normal and underweight, respectively. Two hundred seventy-six (86.3%) of the patients needed critical nutrition intervention. Performance status of ≥ 2 [AOR = 7.9, 95% CI (3.05, 20.48)] and cancer stage II, III & IV [AOR = 3.47, 95% CI (1.25, 9.58)], [AOR = 3.81, 95% CI (1.17, 12.31)] and [AOR = 6.11, 95% CI (1.48, 25.14)] were significantly associated with malnutrition on cancer patients at a P-value < 0.05.
Conclusion The prevalence of under-nutrition is prevalent in the study area. Performance status of ≥ 2 and cancer stages were important factors associated with malnutrition in cancer patients. Screening and evaluation of nutritional status of the patients and planning nutritional therapy such as dietary supplements or enteral nutrition to counteract malnutrition on cancer patients should be implemented.