Body composition assessment of Crohn's outpatients and comparison with gender- and age-specific multiple matched control pairs

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

Routine clinical care for Crohn's disease (CD) outpatients does not cover the assessment of body composition (BC); although this disease (because of inflammation, surgeries, lack of physical activity and appetite) may have a severe impact on lean body mass. The main aims of this prospective research were to assess the nutritional status of the patients and to compare their data with apparently healthy gender- and age-specific matched control pairs.

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

Overall, 136 CD patients and 1752 apparently healthy people were involved in the study. All participants were measured by the same bioelectrical impedance analyser.

RESULTS:

Using body mass index (BMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) as the markers of nutritional status, we found low BMI for 21% of the patients and low FFMI for 30% of them. Low BMI values were not gender specific, but substantially more females had low FFMI values. Low BMI was diagnosed in the patients' vs the control group for 21 vs 4% for men and 21 vs 2% for women; whereas low FFMI was diagnosed for 25 vs 5% for men and 36 vs 14% for women. Significant differences were found between patients' and control groups (median BMI: 22.0 vs 25.1 kg/m2, P < 0.0001; FFMI: 17.3 vs 18.4 kg/m2, P = 0.0044).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study confirmed the higher prevalence of low FFMI than that of low BMI among the subjects. We recommend implementing the assessment of BC into routine clinical care to diagnose low FFMI and to start intervention in time.

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