There is a paucity of data on body composition in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Alterations of fat and muscle may affect bone health, muscle performance, quality of life and overall morbidity.
Dr Bryant and colleagues from Australia systematically reviewed the literature on body composition in adults with Inflamatory bowel disease, and discussed potential contributory factors and associations.
The team performed a search in 2012 of OVID SP MEDLINE, OVID EMBASE and National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central Medline.
A total of 19 articles comparing body composition in patients with Inflamatory bowel disease with healthy age- and sex-matched control populations were included in the primary analysis.
|A significant reduction in body mass index was reported in 37% with Crohn's |
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
A total of 631 patients with Crohn's disease and 295 with ulcerative colitis, with a mean age of 37 years, were reported upon.
The researchers found that data were heterogeneous and methodology varied.
Compared with controls, a statistically significant reduction in body mass index was reported in 37% of Crohn's disease and 20% of ulcerative colitis patients.
Reduced fat-free mass was found in 28% Crohn's disease and 13% ulcerative colitis patients, and reduced fat mass in 31% Crohn's disease and 13% ulcerative colitis patients.
There was no consistent association between body composition and disease activity, duration, extent or therapies.
The research team found that body mass index did not accurately predict body composition.
Dr Bryant's team concludes, "Current data, although heterogeneous, suggest that many patients with Inflamatory bowel disease are affected by aberrations in fat and lean mass, which may not be detected during routine clinical assessment."
"The prevalence and impact of altered body composition amongst this population warrant further investigation."