Diet and Exercise Are not Associated with Skeletal Muscle Mass and Sarcopenia in Patients with Bladder Cancer.



There is limited understanding about why sarcopenia is happening in bladder cancer, and which modifiable and nonmodifiable patient-level factors affect its occurrence.


The objective is to determine the extent to which nonmodifiable risk factors, modifiable lifestyle risk factors, or cancer-related factors are determining body composition changes and sarcopenia in bladder cancer survivors.

Design, setting, and participants

Patients above 18 yr of age with a histologically confirmed diagnosis of bladder cancer and a history of receiving care at Duke University Medical Center between January 1, 1996 and June 30, 2017 were included in this study.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

Bladder cancer survivors from our institution were assessed for their dietary intake patterns utilizing the Diet History Questionnaire II (DHQ-II) and physical activity utilizing the International Physical Activity Questionnaire long form (IPAQ-L) tools. Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI2010) scores were calculated from DHQ-II results. Body composition was evaluated using Slice-O-Matic computed tomography scan image analysis at L3 level and the skeletal muscle index (SMI) calculated by three independent raters.

Results and limitations

A total of 285 patients were evaluated in the study, and the intraclass correlation for smooth muscle area was 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.94-0.98) between raters. The proportions of patients who met the definition of sarcopenia were 72% for men and 55% of women. Univariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that older age, male gender, and black race were highly significant predictors of SMI, whereas tumor stage and grade, chemotherapy, and surgical procedures were not predictors of SMI. Multivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that modifiable lifestyle factors, including total physical activity (p=0.830), strenuousness (high, moderate, and low) of physical activity (p=0.874), individual nutritional components (daily calories, p=0.739; fat, p=0.259; carbohydrates, p=0.983; and protein, p=0.341), and HEI2010 diet quality (p=0.822) were not associated with SMI.


Lifestyle factors including diet quality and physical activity are not associated with SMI and therefore appear to have limited impact on sarcopenia. Sarcopenia may largely be affected by nonmodifiable risk factors.

Patient summary

In this report, we aim to determine whether lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity were the primary drivers of body composition changes and sarcopenia in bladder cancer survivors. We found that lifestyle factors including dietary habits, individual nutritional components, and physical activity do not demonstrate an association with skeletal muscle mass, and therefore may have limited impact on sarcopenia.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Wang, Yingqi, Andrew Chang, Wei Phin Tan, Joseph J Fantony, Ajay Gopalakrishna, Gregory J Barton, Paul E Wischmeyer, Rajan T Gupta, et al. (2021). Diet and Exercise Are not Associated with Skeletal Muscle Mass and Sarcopenia in Patients with Bladder Cancer. European urology oncology, 4(2). pp. 237–245. 10.1016/j.euo.2019.04.012 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Paul Edmund Wischmeyer

Professor of Anesthesiology

Paul Wischmeyer M.D., EDIC, FASPEN, FCCM is a nutrition, exercise, critical care, and perioperative  physician-researcher who specializes in enhancing preparation and recovery from surgery, critical care and COVID-19. He serves as a Tenured Professor of Anesthesiology and Surgery at Duke. He also serves as the Associate Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Dept. of Anesthesiology and Director of the TPN/Nutrition Team at Duke. Dr. Wischmeyer earned his medical degree with honors at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where he was elected into the honor society of Alpha Omega Alpha for outstanding academic achievement. He completed his pediatric internship at University of Colorado Children’s Hospital and his anesthesiology/critical care residency training at the University of Chicago. He also completed a Clinical Pharmacology fellowship and the NIH K30 Clinical Research Scientist Training Program while at University of Chicago.
   Dr. Wischmeyer’s clinical and research focus is in critical care, perioperative care exercise, and nutrition to help patients prepare and recover from illness and surgery. His research interests include surgical and ICU nutrition and exercise rehabilitation; role of parenteral, enteral, and oral nutrition to improve patient outcomes; perioperative optimization; post-illness muscle mass and functional recovery; and probiotics/microbiome. His research interests have also recently been focused on COVID-19 research into COVID-19 metabolism, role of probiotics in COVID19 prevention and treatment, and exercise and nutrition programs to recover from COVID-19 and Long COVID-19. Dr. Wischmeyer’s research group has been awarded multiple NIH, DOD, and other peer reviewed grants to perform research ranging from basic mechanistic cell work to large-scale multi-center clinical trials in the fields of critical care, perioperative medicine, nutrition, illness metabolism, microbiome/probiotics, and exercise interventions to improve functional outcomes. For his research work and clinical work, Dr. Wischmeyer has received numerous awards from national and international societies including, The Jeffrey Silverstein Award and Memorial Lecture for Humanism in Medicine from the American Delirium Society, The John M. Kinney Award for the most significant contribution to field of general nutrition, the Stanley Dudrick Research Scholar Award by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and The Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Parenteral Nutrition Society (IPENEMA) for significant contributions to the field of nutrition.  Dr. Wischmeyer has over 200 peer-reviewed publications in critical care, anesthesiology, and nutrition, including in the New England Journal of Medicine. Finally, he has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international medical meetings delivering over 900 invited presentations over his career. He has an H-index of 73 with over 16,500 citations to his work, including 1 publication with > 1000 citations and 55 publications with > 100 citations. He is also the founder and director of the Duke Online Clinical Nutrition Fellowship, an international fellowship to provide clinical nutrition training to healthcare providers worldwide, as well as unique scholarship opportunities for healthcare providers in developing nations.
    Dr. Wischmeyer passion for helping patients recover from illness and surgery arises from his personal experiences as both doctor and patient in the ICU. Dr. Wischmeyer has undergone over 27 major surgeries and personally experienced multiple ICU stays due to a childhood GI illness that took more than half of his intestinal tract. Thus, preparation for surgery/critical care and recovery from illness are a way of life for Dr. Wischmeyer that he is passionate about teaching his patients and other caregivers worldwide.



Rajan Tilak Gupta

Professor of Radiology

Abdominal Imaging; Multiparametric MR imaging of prostate cancer; MR imaging of the hepatobiliary system; Applications of dual energy CT in the abdomen and pelvis

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.