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Participants wanted for asbestos related disease study

Adults suffering from asbestos-related diseases are needed to participate in a University of Queensland study on the role nutrition plays in the quality of life for patients diagnosed with asbestosis or mesothelioma.

The team of investigators including Associate Professor Judith Bauer, Professor Sandra Capra and Dr Maeli Campbell-McNulty from UQ’s School of Human Movement Studies are hoping to recruit 150 patients in the trial.

Associate Professor Bauer said the study would be the first assessment of nutritional status, body composition, dietary intake and impact on quality of life for patients with asbestos-related diseases and the findings would provide a guide for dietitians caring for such patients.

“Patients with an asbestos-related disease may experience symptoms such as lack of appetite and fatigue that may impact their dietary intake, change body composition (particularly muscle mass) and decrease quality of life,” Associate Professor Bauer said.

“Despite studies showing lung cancer patients have higher rates of malnutrition, which may be exacerbated in patients with mesothelioma due to the chronic nature of asbestos related disease, there is little research into the nutritional requirements for these patients.

“In other conditions similar to mesothelioma where cancer wasting (when the patient becomes malnourished due to the disease is a feature of the disease, poor nutritional status, loss of muscle mass and inadequate dietary intake have a negative impact on the quality of life of the patient.”

The trial began in April at UQ's School of Human Movement Studies at St Lucia.

All studies are conducted at no cost to participants.

Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor on the lung or the lining of the pleural and abdominal cavities, often associated with exposure to asbestos.

For more information and to participate email Associate Professor Judy Bauer at j.bauer1@uq.edu.au or contact Dr Maeli Campbell-McNulty at maeli.campbellmcnulty@uqconnect.edu.au or 0405 795 037.

UQ, 3 June 2013