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Arq Gastroenterol. 2008 Oct-Dec;45(4):284-9.

Eating practices, nutritional status and constipation in patients with Rett syndrome.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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  • 1Post Graduation Course on Nutrition, Federal University of São Paulo, Paulista School of Medicine, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.



Disturbance in chewing, swallowing and digestive motility may predispose to feeding and nutritional abnormalities in patients with Rett syndrome.


To evaluate the dietary habits, nutritional status and the prevalence of constipation in patients with classical Rett syndrome.


Twenty seven female patients between the ages of 2.6 and 21.8 years were studied. The following parameters were evaluated: food register, weight, height and intestinal movement characteristics. Weight and height were compared with the National Center for Health Statistics standards.


The inability to ingest solid foods was observed in 80.8% of the patients. A height-to-age deficit was observed in 13 (48.1%) of the girls, being more intense in patients at stage IV. Weight-for-height deficit was found in 10 (37.0%) patients, 15 (55.6%) showed normal weight and 2 (7.4%) were overweight for their height. The median ingestion of energy, according to weight-for-height, was equal to 106.6%. Insufficient iron ingestion was observed in 63.0% and insufficient calcium in 55.6% of the patients. Constipation was verified in 74.1% of the patients and did not show a relationship with the quantity of fiber in the diet.


Various nutritional problems, as well as, intestinal constipation were observed in these patients with Rett syndrome, and they must be considered in the multidisciplinary therapeutic planning of these individuals.

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