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Diet and Eating Difficulties Affect Exercise Suitability in Head and Neck Cancer Patients Beginning Radiation: 1554 Board #6 May 31 100 PM - 300 PM

Muhammad, Josh, N.1; Anton, P, M., FACSM2; Courneya, K, S., FACSM3; Rao, K, A., FACSM4; Rogers, Laura, Q., FACSM1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2018 - Volume 50 - Issue 5S - p 375
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000536318.71403.4a
D-11 Thematic Poster - Physical Activity and Health Promotion in Cancer Survivors Thursday, May 31, 2018, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Room: CC-Lower level L100H

1The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.

2Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL.

3The University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

4Southern Illinois University, Springfield, IL.

(Sponsor: Laura Rogers, FACSM)

(No relevant relationships reported)

PURPOSE: Determine if head and neck cancer (HNCa) patients are suitable candidates for exercise training based on macronutrient intake. Also, identify macronutrient associations with fatigue, lean mass, strength, physical functioning, and eating difficulties.

METHODS: Cross-sectional 3-day food diary data from 23 HNCa patients initiating radiation therapy were analyzed. Self-administered survey assessed demographics. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT) measured eating difficulties (additional concerns subscale items) and fatigue (higher score indicated greater fatigue). Lean mass was measured by bioelectric impedance, strength by handgrip dynamometer, and physical functioning by a physical performance battery. Associations were analyzed with Spearman correlations.

RESULTS: Participants were 60±10.8 years of age, 96% Caucasian, and 70% male with a mean body mass index of 28.75±6.5. The most frequent cancer stage was IV and site was oropharynx (61% and 70%, respectively). Difficulty swallowing, difficulty eating solid foods, and mouth pain was reported by 43%, 35%, and 48%, respectively. The mean macronutrient intake (g/day) was 249 ± 85 of carbohydrate (CHO), 81 ± 34 of fat, and 83 ± 39 of protein (PTN) with 33% reporting intake of less than 0.8 g/kg/day of PTN. Fatigue was associated with percent kilocalories from CHO (r=0.52, p=.02) and PTN (r=-0.48, p=0.03). Lean mass was positively correlated with total intake of CHO (r=0.46, p=.04), fats (r=0.54, p=.01), PTN (r=0.64, p,>.01) and kilocalories (r=0.56, p=.01). No significant correlations were observed between macronutrients and strength or physical functioning. Fat intake was positively correlated with greater ability to swallow (r=0.66, p<.01) and eat solid foods (r=0.60, p<.01) while CHO were negatively correlated with ability to swallow (r=-0.81, p<.01) and eat solid foods (r=-0.72, p<.01). PTN intake was positively correlated with ability to swallow (r=0.47, 0=.03).

CONCLUSIONS: PTN intake sufficiency in HNCa patients beginning radiation may jeopardize exercise suitability. Macronutrient intake is associated with fatigue and lean mass. Ability to eat may serve as a marker for individuals warranting particular nutritional attention.

Funding: AICR #10A048, NCI R25CA76023

© 2018 American College of Sports Medicine