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Weight loss as a predictor of cancer in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Overview of attention for article published in British Journal of General Practice, April 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#7 of 2,283)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
41 news outlets
blogs
4 blogs
twitter
45 tweeters
facebook
2 Facebook pages

Readers on

mendeley
4 Mendeley
Title
Weight loss as a predictor of cancer in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Published in
British Journal of General Practice, April 2018
DOI 10.3399/bjgp18x695801
Pubmed ID
Authors

Brian D Nicholson, William Hamilton, Jack O’Sullivan, Paul Aveyard, FD Richard Hobbs

Abstract

Weight loss is a non-specific cancer symptom for which there are no clinical guidelines about investigation in primary care. To summarise the available evidence on weight loss as a clinical feature of cancer in patients presenting to primary care. A diagnostic test accuracy review and meta-analysis. Studies reporting 2 × 2 diagnostic accuracy data for weight loss (index test) in adults presenting to primary care and a subsequent diagnosis of cancer (reference standard) were included. QUADAS-2 was used to assess study quality. Sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratios, and positive predictive values were calculated, and a bivariate meta-analysis performed. A total of 25 studies were included, with 23 (92%) using primary care records. Of these, 20 (80%) defined weight loss as a physician's coding of the symptom; the remainder collected data directly. One defined unexplained weight loss using objective measurements. Positive associations between weight loss and cancer were found for 10 cancer sites: prostate, colorectal, lung, gastro-oesophageal, pancreatic, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, ovarian, myeloma, renal tract, and biliary tree. Sensitivity ranged from 2% to 47%, and specificity from 92% to 99%, across cancer sites. The positive predictive value for cancer in male and female patients with weight loss for all age groups ≥60 years exceeded the 3% risk threshold that current UK guidance proposes for further investigation. A primary care clinician's decision to code for weight loss is highly predictive of cancer. For such patients, urgent referral pathways are justified to investigate for cancer across multiple sites.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 45 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 4 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 4 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 2 50%
Lecturer > Senior Lecturer 1 25%
Student > Postgraduate 1 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 25%
Nursing and Health Professions 1 25%
Social Sciences 1 25%
Medicine and Dentistry 1 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 374. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 May 2018.
All research outputs
#21,021
of 11,357,652 outputs
Outputs from British Journal of General Practice
#7
of 2,283 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1,300
of 242,502 outputs
Outputs of similar age from British Journal of General Practice
#1
of 95 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,357,652 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,283 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 242,502 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 95 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.