Prevalence of malnutrition in patients at first medical oncology visit: the PreMiO study

Maurizio Muscaritoli, Simone Lucia, Alessio Farcomeni, Vito Lorusso, Valeria Saracino, Carlo Barone, Francesca Plastino, Stefania Gori, Roberto Magarotto, Giacomo Carteni, Bruno Chiurazzi, Ida Pavese, Luca Marchetti, Vittorina Zagonel, Eleonora Bergo, Giuseppe Tonini, Marco Imperatori, Carmelo Iacono, Luigi Maiorana, Carmine PintoDaniela Rubino, Luigi Cavanna, Roberto Di Cicilia, Teresa Gamucci, Silvia Quadrini, Salvatore Palazzo, Stefano Minardi, Marco Merlano, Giuseppe Colucci, Paolo Marchetti, PreMiO Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In cancer patients, malnutrition is associated with treatment toxicity, complications, reduced physical functioning, and decreased survival. The Prevalence of Malnutrition in Oncology (PreMiO) study identified malnutrition or its risk among cancer patients making their first medical oncology visit. Innovatively, oncologists, not nutritionists, evaluated the nutritional status of the patients in this study.

Methods: PreMiO was a prospective, observational study conducted at 22 medical oncology centers across Italy. For inclusion, adult patients (>18 years) had a solid tumor diagnosis, were treatment-naive, and had a life expectancy >3 months. Malnutrition was identified by the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), appetite status with a visual analog scale (VAS), and appetite loss with a modified version of Anorexia-Cachexia Subscale (AC/S-12) of the Functional Assessment of Anorexia-Cachexia Therapy (FAACT).

Findings: Of patients enrolled (N=1,952), 51% had nutritional impairment; 9% were overtly malnourished, and 43% were at risk for malnutrition. Severity of malnutrition was positively correlated with the stage of cancer. Over 40% of patients were experiencing anorexia, as reported in the VAS and FAACT questionnaire. During the prior six months, 64% of patients lost weight (1-10 kg).

Interpretation: Malnutrition, anorexia, and weight loss are common in cancer patients, even at their first visit to a medical oncology center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79884-79896
Number of pages13
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2017


  • Journal Article


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