Weight change and lung cancer: Relationships with symptom distress, functional status, and smoking

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Abstract

The pattern of weight change (at five 6-week intervals beginning 2 months after diagnosis of advanced disease) is described in adults with progressive lung cancer (N = 60). Weight loss of 10% or more at study entry occurred in 35% of subjects; 37% lost weight at three or more intervals; and 25% lost weight at only one interval. Pre-illness weight loss was moderately correlated with subsequent decreased functional status (Enforced Social Dependency Scale) at Times 1, 2, and 3 (r = −.49, r = −.43, r = −.48, p < .001). Weight loss correlated with subsequent increased symptom distress (Symptom Distress Scale, SDS) at three times (Times 2,4, and 5: r = −.34, r = −.30, r = −.43, p < .05). Chemotherapy (50% of subjects) and smoking (25% at study entry) predicted weight loss from Time 1 to 5, explaining 28% of the variance.

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