Children with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are frequently underweight.
Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents may induce remission and restore growth.
However, its use in other autoimmune diseases has been associated with excess weight gain.
Dr Leonard Haas and colleagues examined whether children with IBD could experience excess weight gain.
The team used a centralized diagnostic index to identify pediatric IBD patients who received anti-TNF therapy for at least 1 year between 1998 and 2013.
|17% patients had excess weight gain at last follow-up|
|Digestive Diseases & Sciences|
Anthropometric data were collected at time of anti-TNF initiation and annually.
Excess weight gain was defined as ΔBMI SDS where patients were reclassified from “normal” to “overweight/obese”, “overweight” to “obese,” or a final BMI SDS >0 and ΔSDS >0.5.
During the study period, the team reported that 268 children received anti-TNF therapy.
Of these, 69 had sufficient follow-up for a median of 29 months.
The researchers found that the median age at first anti-TNF dose was 13 years.
At baseline, mean weight SDS was −0.7, while mean BMI SDS was −0.6.
Using baseline BMI SDS, the team observed that 12% were overweight/obese.
At last follow-up, the mean ΔBMI SDS was 0.50.
The research team observed that 17% patients had excess weight gain at last follow-up.
The team found that 3 patients were reclassified from “normal” to “obese,” and 7 had a final BMI SDS >0 and ΔSDS >0.5.
Dr Haas' team concludes, "Pediatric patients with IBD may experience excess weight gain when treated with anti-TNF agents. Monitoring for this side effect is warranted."