Objective: To estimate the prevalence of malnutrition, correlate it with length of hospital stay, and evaluate laboratory tools to define it in gynecologic oncology. Methods: Sixty-seven consecutive hospitalized gynecologic oncology patients were evaluated prospectively using the standardized Prognostic Nutritional Index method, based on serum albumin, transferrin, triceps skin fold and skin sensitivity tests, which defines criteria for malnourished and nourished patients. It was correlated with length of hospital stay. The Mann-Whitney test and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used to evaluate statistical relationships. Results: Cancer distribution among study subjects was 39 cervical (58%), 16 uterine (24%), 11 ovarian (16%), and one vulvar (2%). Malnutrition was found in 36 of 67 women (54%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 41%, 66%). The median (interquartile range) hospital stays of nourished women (n = 31) and malnourished women (n = 36) were 6 (range 4-7) days and 8 (range 6-16) days, respectively (two-sided P = .004). That difference remained after controlling for age, extent of metastases, and cancer sites. Albumin correlated well with Prognostic Nutritional Index (R = -.78; 95% CI -.86, -.66; P < .001). Albumin also correlated with length of hospital stay R = -.41; 95% CI -.56, -.25; P < .001). Conclusion: Malnutrition is common in gynecologic oncology patients and contributes to longer hospital stays. Albumin is a good substitute for the Prognostic Nutritional Index laboratory test for assessing malnutrition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology