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Prevalence of Malnutrition Among Gastric Cancer Patients Undergoing Gastrectomy and Optimal Preoperative Nutritional Support for Preventing Surgical Site Infections



Malnutrition is an independent risk factor for postoperative mortality and morbidity in major gastrointestinal surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of malnutrition and identify the optimal preoperative nutritional support for preventing postoperative surgical site infections (SSIs) in malnourished gastric cancer patients undergoing gastrectomy.


We analyzed 800 patients with gastric cancer who underwent gastrectomy. Nutritional risk factors included weight loss >10 % within 6 months, body mass index <18.5 kg/m2, Subjective Global Assessment Grade C, and serum albumin <3.0 g/dl. Adequate energy intake was defined as receiving ≥25 kcal/kg ideal body weight per day. Optimal nutritional support was examined in terms of both duration and calorie intake.


Overall, 152 patients (19.0 %) were classified as malnourished. The incidence of SSIs was significantly higher in malnourished patients than in well-nourished patients (35.5 vs. 14.0 %; p < 0.0001). The incidence of SSIs in malnourished patients was significantly lower in the well-supported group receiving adequate energy support for at least 10 days than in the poorly-supported group, which received inadequate or no energy support or adequate energy support for <10 days (17.0 vs. 45.4 %; p = 0.0006). In multivariate analysis, well-managed nutritional support was identified as an independent factor associated with fewer SSIs (odds ratio 0.14; 95 % confidence interval 0.05–0.37; p = 0.0002).


Malnutrition, a risk factor for SSI, was prevalent in gastric cancer patients preoperatively. Well-managed preoperative nutritional support decreased the incidence of postoperative SSIs in malnourished patients.

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The authors would like to thank Tamaki Nakayama and Sugano Tanikawa, registered dietitians at ONH, for calculating food intake calories in this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Author information

Correspondence to Kazuyoshi Yamamoto MD, PhD.

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Fukuda, Y., Yamamoto, K., Hirao, M. et al. Prevalence of Malnutrition Among Gastric Cancer Patients Undergoing Gastrectomy and Optimal Preoperative Nutritional Support for Preventing Surgical Site Infections. Ann Surg Oncol 22, 778–785 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-015-4820-9

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  • Gastric Cancer
  • Nutritional Support
  • Malnourished Patient
  • Oral Nutritional Supplement
  • Malnourished Group