Prevalence and predictors of malnutrition in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
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We assessed the prevalence and predictors of malnutrition in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Sixty cases and 123 controls matched for age and gender were included. Bio-data, dietary history, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), ideal body weight, and serum albumin levels were recorded. Pretreatment weight loss of >5% was present in 35% of subjects (P < 0.0001). A BMI of < 18.5 kg/m2 was present in 13.3% (P < 0.001), percent ideal body weight of <90% was present in 30% (P < 0.001), and serum albumin levels <30 g/dL was present in 23.3% (P < 0.001) of cases. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma increased the likelihood of having a BMI <18.5 kg/m2 (odds ratio, 9.3 (3.4–25.3) P ≤0.001). Logistic regression shows that stage IV disease was associated with a decrease in all parameters except protein-calorie intake. Stage IV nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a predictive marker for weight loss and low serum albumin levels. Nutritional management is important for ensuring the patients’ ability to withstand chemoradiation and thus improve survival and quality of life.