A Cross-Sectional Study on Malnutrition in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Is There a Difference Based on Pediatric or Adult Age Grouping

Marcil V1,2, Levy E2, Amre D3, Serban D1, Bitton A1, Sant'Anna AMGA1, Szilagy A1, Sinnett D3, Seidman EG1. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Feb 22. pii: izy403. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izy403. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

IBD Research Group, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Research Centre, Sainte-Justine UHC.

Department of Nutrition, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Pediatrics, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


BACKGROUND: Malnutrition, commonly observed in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is associated with increased morbidity and mortality and is attributed to multiple causes. The added energy costs of growth in the child and adolescent with IBD are an additional risk factor.

METHODS: The aim of the study was to perform a cross-sectional comparison of nutritional parameters in IBD between pediatric and adult cases.

RESULTS: We found that prevalence of undernutrition (low body mass index) and hypoalbuminemia was not different in pediatric, compared with adult patients. Anemia and iron deficiency were more often observed in pediatric subjects, compared with adults (59.1% vs 36.9%, respectively, P < 0.0001; and 37.9% vs 25.3%, P < 0.002). Vitamin B12 deficiency was significantly less common in the pediatric than in the adult group (5.4% vs 19.4%, P < 0.0001). Elevated C-reactive protein was more frequent in pediatric compared with adult cases (49.8% vs 38.4%, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with active Crohn's disease were more likely to be undernourished in both pediatric and adult populations. In both groups, predicators of undernutrition included low albumin levels (odds ratio [OR], 2.53; P < 0.006) and active disease (OR, 1.99; P < 0.03). Our results call for close surveillance of nutritional status for IBD patients, regardless of age.

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