Cancer and its treatments often lead to sarcopenia and fatigue. However, whether these factors are associated remains unproven.
To evaluate whether the risk of sarcopenia predicts the presence of fatigue.
A cross-sectional study was completed and included 198 cancer patients of both sexes, undergoing in- and outpatient treatment. The Strength, Assistance for walking, Rise from a chair, Climb stairs, and Falls (SARC-F) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Fatigue (FACT-F) were used to assess the risk of sarcopenia and the presence of fatigue, respectively. The cut-off values used to identify the risk of sarcopenia and the severity of fatigue scale were SARC-F ≥ 4 and Fatigue <34, respectively. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between SARC-F and the FACT-F.
Out of 198 patients, 35% were at risk of sarcopenia and of these 87% had fatigue. Patients at risk of sarcopenia had lower scores in the FACT-F subscales, lower handgrip strength, lower performance status, were mostly hospitalized and were sedentary. Logistic regression analysis revealed that patients with SARC-F < 4 had a lower risk of fatigue in both models, crude (OR: 0.83; CI 95% [0.79–0.88], p < 0.0001) as well as adjusted for age, gender, BMI, physical activity, current use of alcoholic beverages, smoking, performance status, cancer type, clinical setting and use of supplements (OR: 0.87; CI 95% [0.81–0.92], p < 0.0001).
In patients with cancer, 35% presented risk of sarcopenia and of these 87% had fatigue. In addition, the absence of sarcopenia was considered protective against fatigue.
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TCB, JDP, JSM, and TLNG would like to thank the Capes, Brazil. GDP would like to The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil, 312252/2019–6).
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The authors declare no competing interests.
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Barreto, C.S., Borges, T.C., Valentino, N.P. et al. Absence of risk of sarcopenia protects cancer patients from fatigue. Eur J Clin Nutr (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-021-00931-4