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Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 May;67(5):919-26.

Comprehensive nutritional status in patients with long-standing Crohn disease currently in remission.

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Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Malnutrition is observed frequently and is an important complication in patients with Crohn disease (CD). The pathophysiology of malnutrition in this disorder is complex. To obtain a comprehensive picture of nutritional status in patients with long-standing CD that was clinically in remission, we assessed four measures of nutritional status in 32 patients (18 women and 14 men) and 32 matched healthy control subjects: 1) body composition, 2) dietary intake, 3) biochemical indexes of nutrition, and 4) and muscle strength (as a functional index). Mean daily intakes of fiber and phosphorus were significantly lower in CD patients than in control subjects. Serum concentrations of several nutrients (beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc) and activity of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase were also significantly lower in CD patients, as were antioxidant status and serum concentrations of magnesium and vitamin D. Percentage body fat and hamstring muscle strength were significantly lower in male CD patients than in control subjects, whereas muscle strength of the quadriceps was preserved. In conclusion, this study showed a variety of nutritional and functional deficiencies in patients with long-standing CD in remission, especially in male patients with a high lifetime prednisone dose. A comprehensive nutritional assessment seems superior to the assessment of a single dimension of nutritional status.

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