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Table 1 Demographic and clinical characteristics of enrolled patients (n = 100)

From: To hydrate or not to hydrate? The effect of hydration on survival, symptoms and quality of dying among terminally ill cancer patients

Variable Total Hydration p-value
< 400 ml
(n = 78)
400 ml
(n = 22)
Institution     0.237
 NTUH 43 (43%) 37 (47.4%) 6 (27.3%)  
 Chi-Mei 26 (26%) 19 (24.4%) 7 (31.8%)  
 KMUH 31 (31%) 22 (28.2%) 9 (40.9%)  
Age 69.19 ± 12.89 71.26 ± 11.86 61.86 ± 13.97 0.005
Gender     0.630
 Female 52 (52%) 42 (53.8%) 10 (45.5%)  
 Male 48 (48%) 36 (46.2%) 12 (54.5%)  
Education     0.053
6 years 49 (49%) 43 (55.1%) 6 (27.3%)  
 7 ~ 12 years 35 (35%) 23 (29.5%) 12 (54.5%)  
  > 12 years 16 (16%) 12 (15.4%) 4 (18.2%)  
Marital status     0.190
 Unmarried 6 (6.0%) 5 (6.4%) 1 (4.5%)  
 Married 58 (58.0%) 44 (56.4%) 14 (63.6%)  
 Widowed 27 (27.0%) 24 (30.8%) 3 (13.6%)  
 Separated / divorced 9 (9.0%) 5 (6.4%) 4 (18.2%)  
Religion     0.015
 Nullifidian 11 (11%) 7 (9.0%) 4 (18.2%)  
 Buddhism 24 (24%) 23 (29.5%) 1 (4.5%)  
 Christian/
Catholicism
12 (12%) 12 (15.4%) 0 (0%)  
 Taoism/Taiwanese folk religion 50 (50%) 34 (43.6%) 16 (72.7%)  
 Unknown 3 (3%) 2 (2.6%) 1 (4.5%)  
Cancer     0.279
 Lung 15 (15.0%) 14 (17.9%) 1 (4.5%)  
 GI tract 24 (24.0%) 16 (20.5%) 8 (36.4%)  
 Liver/pancreas 37 (37.0%) 29 (37.2%) 8 (36.4%)  
 Breast 3 (3.0%) 1 (1.3%) 2 (9.1%)  
 Gynaecology 6 (6.0%) 4 (5.1%) 2 (9.1%)  
 Urinary tract 8 (8.0%) 7 (9.0%) 1 (4.5%)  
 Lymphoma 1 (1.0%) 1 (1.3%) 0 (0%)  
 Head and neck/brain 3 (3.0%) 3 (3.8%) 0 (0%)  
 Others 3 (3.0%) 3 (3.8%) 0 (0%)  
ECOG     0.666
 1 1 (1.0%) 1 (1.3%) 0 (0%)  
 2 8 (8.0%) 5 (6.4%) 3 (13.6%)  
 3 43 (43.0%) 34 (43.6%) 9 (40.9%)  
 4 48 (48.0%) 38 (48.7%) 10 (45.5%)  
Oral intake     0.008
 Less than a mouthful 47 (47.0%) 31 (39.7%) 16 (72.7%)  
Reduced but more than a mouthful 53 (53.0%) 47 (60.3%) 6 (27.3%)  
Bowel obstruction     0.091
 Without 75 (75.0%) 62 (79.5%) 13 (59.1%)  
 With 25 (25.0%) 16 (20.5%) 9 (40.9%)  
Hydration amount 249.02 ± 298.50 116.35 ± 119.03 719.41 ± 266.29 < 0.001
Transfusion     0.647
 Not used 93 (93.0%) 73 (93.6%) 20 (90.9%)  
 Used 7 (7.0%) 5 (6.4%) 2 (9.1%)  
Antibiotic     0.088
 Not used 45 (45.0%) 39 (50%) 6 (27.3%)  
 Used 55 (55.0%) 39 (50%) 16 (72.7%)  
Albumin     0.334
 Not used 94 (94%) 72 (92.3%) 22 (100%)  
 Used 6 (6.0%) 6 (7.7%) 0 (0%)  
Hospitalisation day 12.04 ± 6.93 12.55 ± 6.64 10.23 ± 7.78 0.063
Total GDS 13.04 ± 2.35 13.10 ± 2.41 12.89 ± 2.23 0.575
Hospital death     0.041
 No 32 (32.0%) 29 (37.2%) 3 (13.6%)  
 Yes 68 (68.0%) 49 (62.8%) 19 (86.4%)  
  1. Data presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD) for continuous variables and frequency (percentage, %) for categorical variables. The p-values were calculated using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables
  2. NTUH National Taiwan University Hospital, Chi-Mei Chi-Mei Medical Centre, KMUH Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, GDS Good Death Scale, GI Gastro-intestinal, ECOG Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status