Objective: Malnutrition is observed frequently in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Knowledge of the nutritional status in patients with recently diagnosed IBD is limited. The aim of this study was to establish a comprehensive picture of the nutritional status in recently diagnosed IBD patients.
Subjects: Sixty-nine IBD patients (23 Crohn's disease (CD) and 46 with ulcerative colitis (UC)) within 6 months of diagnosis and 69 age- and sex-matched population controls were included in the study.
Methods: The nutritional status was assessed by: (1) body composition (anthropometry and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry); (2) dietary intake (dietary history); (3) biochemical indexes of nutrition; and (4) muscle strength (isokinetic dynamometer).
Results: Body weight and body mass index were significantly lower in UC patients compared with controls. The mean daily intake of carbohydrates was significantly higher in CD patients and the intakes of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin were significantly lower in UC patients compared with controls, respectively. Serum concentrations of several nutrients (beta-carotene, magnesium, selenium and zinc) were significantly lower in UC patients compared with controls. Serum vitamin B12 concentration was significantly lower in CD patients. Muscle strength did not significantly differ between IBD patients and controls.
Conclusions: This study showed that the nutritional status of IBD patients was already affected negatively at time of diagnosis. It needs to be elucidated whether nutritional supplementation in recently diagnosed IBD patients may improve the clinical course of the disease.