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Multimorbidity and the risk of malnutrition, frailty and sarcopenia in adults with cancer in the UK Biobank

Version 2 2024-07-11, 01:39
Version 1 2024-07-04, 04:53
journal contribution
posted on 2024-07-11, 01:39 authored by Nicole KissNicole Kiss, Gavin AbbottGavin Abbott, Robin DalyRobin Daly, L Denehy, L Edbrooke, Brenton BaguleyBrenton Baguley, Steve FraserSteve Fraser, Abbas KhosraviAbbas Khosravi, CM Prado
AbstractBackgroundMalnutrition, sarcopenia and frailty are distinct, albeit interrelated, conditions associated with adverse outcomes in adults with cancer, but whether they relate to multimorbidity, which affects up to 90% of people with cancer, is unknown. This study investigated the relationship between multimorbidity with malnutrition, sarcopenia and frailty in adults with cancer from the UK Biobank.MethodsThis was a cross‐sectional study including 4122 adults with cancer (mean [SD] age 59.8 [7.1] years, 50.7% female). Malnutrition was determined using the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition criteria. Probable sarcopenia and sarcopenia were defined using the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 criteria. (Pre‐)frailty was determined using the Fried frailty criteria. Multimorbidity was defined as ≥2 long‐term conditions with and without the cancer diagnosis included. Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) of malnutrition, sarcopenia and frailty according to the presence of multimorbidity.ResultsGenitourinary (28.9%) and breast (26.1%) cancers were the most common cancer diagnoses. The prevalence of malnutrition, (probable‐)sarcopenia and (pre‐)frailty was 11.1%, 6.9% and 51.2%, respectively. Of the 11.1% of participants with malnutrition, the majority (9%) also had (pre‐)frailty, and 1.1% also had (probable‐)sarcopenia. Of the 51.2% of participants with (pre‐)frailty, 6.8% also had (probable‐)sarcopenia. No participants had (probable‐)sarcopenia alone, and 1.1% had malnutrition, (probable‐)sarcopenia plus (pre‐)frailty. In total, 33% and 65% of participants had multimorbidity, including and excluding the cancer diagnosis, respectively. The most common long‐term conditions, excluding the cancer diagnosis, were hypertension (32.5%), painful conditions such as osteoarthritis or sciatica (17.6%) and asthma (10.4%). Overall, 80% of malnourished, 74% of (probable‐)sarcopenia and 71.5% of (pre‐)frail participants had multimorbidity. Participants with multimorbidity, including the cancer diagnosis, had higher odds of malnutrition (OR 1.72 [95% confidence interval, CI, 1.31–2.30; P < 0.0005]) and (pre‐)frailty (OR 1.43 [95% CI 1.24–1.68; P < 0.0005]). The odds increased further in people with ≥2 long‐term conditions in addition to their cancer diagnosis (malnutrition, OR 2.41 [95% CI 1.85–3.14; P < 0.0005]; (pre‐)frailty, OR 2.03 [95% CI 1.73–2.38; P < 0.0005]). There was little evidence of an association of multimorbidity with sarcopenia.ConclusionsIn adults with cancer, multimorbidity was associated with increased odds of having malnutrition and (pre‐)frailty but not (probable‐)sarcopenia. This highlights that multimorbidity should be considered a risk factor for these conditions and evaluated during nutrition and functional screening and assessment to support risk stratification within clinical practice.



Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle




London, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal



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