Background: Although the body mass index (BMI) is the most commonly used tool to assess the nutritional status of patients with active tuberculosis (TB), it does not assess changes in body composition. This study aims to assess the contribution of bioelectrical impedancemetry (BIA) for the assessment of body composition during the course of TB compared to BMI and to examine the associated factors.
Methods: Cross-sectional study carried out in patients with active TB at the pulmonology department of CHU la Rabta in Tunis, Tunisia. The nutritional assessment was based on the measurement of BMI and the analysis of body composition by BIA. Malnutrition was accepted when the lean mass index (LMI) was ≤16kg/m2 in men and 15kg/m2 in women.
Results: Ninety-five patients were included. According to their LMI, 38 patients were undernourished. The decline in LMI was associated with the severity of TB. Although BMI and LMI were correlated, the use of BMI alone failed to recognize lean mass loss in one in ten patients.
Conclusion: Undernutrition is frequent in patients with active TB. It is correlated with the severity of the disease. In addition to anti-tuberculosis drugs, nutritional management of these patients is essential.
Keywords: Fat mass; Lean mass; Masse grasse; Masse maigre; Nutrition; Prognosis; Pronostic; Tuberculose; Tuberculosis; Tunisia; Tunisie.
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