Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 2441–2451 | Cite as

The relationship between nutritional status and handgrip strength in adult cancer patients: a cross-sectional study

  • Şenay Burçin Alkan
  • Mehmet Artaç
  • Neslişah Rakıcıoğlu
Original Article



Malnutrition is a common complication in head, neck and lung cancer patients, particularly in cases of gastrointestinal system (GIS) cancer. Therefore, an assessment of malnutrition is crucial for early nutritional interventions. It was conducted as a cross-sectional study to evaluate nutritional status of adult cancer patients.


The nutritional status of 104 cancer patients (52 GIS and 52 non-GIS cancer cases) using a Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA), handgrip strength, certain anthropometric measurements and food consumption in and outside of the hospital were assessed.


The percentages of malnutrition were 64.6 and 64.3% in the male patients with and without GIS cancer, respectively. They were 61.9 and 45.8% in the female patients with GIS and without GIS cancer, respectively. However, no significant difference was found between these two groups according to the malnutrition classification, PG-SGA score, handgrip strength and other anthropometric measurements (p > 0.05). The daily energy and protein intakes (per body weight) of the female patients in the hospital were significantly lower than those outside (p < 0.05). In addition, there was a positive moderate and significant relationship between the handgrip strength and lean body mass (r = 0.522, p = 0.000). A negative relationship was observed between the PG-SGA score and the handgrip strength (r = − 0.117, p = 0.071), but it was not statistically significant.


Cancer patients could be provided with nutritional education, and arrangements could be made with hospital nutritional services in order to prevent malnutrition.


Cancer Oncology Malnutrition Handgrip strength 



The authors thank the patients who participate voluntarily in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Şenay Burçin Alkan
    • 1
  • Mehmet Artaç
    • 2
  • Neslişah Rakıcıoğlu
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and DieteticsNecmettin Erbakan UniversitySelçukluTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineNecmettin Erbakan UniversityMeramTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and DieteticsHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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