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Malnutrition and sarcopenia are prevalent among inflammatory bowel disease patients

Updated: May 11, 2022

Malnutrition and sarcopenia are prevalent among inflammatory bowel disease patients with clinical remission

Ünal NG, Oruç N, Tomey O, Ömer Özütemiz A Published Nov 2021, in the European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology.


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate nutritional status and sarcopenia in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in clinical remission.

Methods: A total of 344 patients with IBD in clinical remission were included in this cross-sectional study. Patients with clinical activity (Harvey-Bradshaw index >5 for Crohn's disease and partial Mayo scores ≥5 for ulcerative colitis) were excluded. Sociodemographic, clinical, and anthropometric data were recorded. BMI was categorized according to WHO criteria. Nutritional status was assessed using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) questionnaire. Body composition included fat-free mass (FFM) analyzed with Tanita-330 ST. Muscle strength was measured with a Takei digital hand grip dynamometer using a standard protocol. Physical performance was measured as 4-m gait speed. Sarcopenia was defined based on the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 criteria.

Results: Overall, 5.5% of patients were underweight, 9.9% were malnourished, and 39.5% were at risk of malnutrition. Sarcopenia and probable sarcopenia were diagnosed in 41.3% of patients. Total number of flares requiring hospitalization (100%) was the most important predictor of sarcopenia, followed by total number of flares (80.1%), FFMI (46.5%), age (44.6%), BMI (31.8%), MNA score (27.7%), serum creatinine (23.6%), anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha use (23.3%), and gender (17.8%).

Conclusion: In conclusion, our findings revealed a considerable proportion of IBD patients in clinical remission to be malnourished or at risk of malnutrition along with a high rate of sarcopenia. This emphasizes the need for concomitant screening for nutritional status and body composition analysis in patients with IBD for provision of appropriate nutritional support, even during the remission period, and prevention of sarcopenia-related surgical and poor clinical outcomes.


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