Background and Aims: Prevalence of malnutrition in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) varies between 16% and 75%. Data on the nutritional status at initial diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s Disease (CD) are scarce. It is believed that more than 50% of IBD patients suffer significant weight loss prior to diagnosis. The aims of our study were to assess malnutrition in patients recently diagnosed with IBD and to determine its predictive factors.
Methods: We retrospectively included 625 IBD patients registered in the Romanian “IBD Prospect” database between January 2006 and July 2017. All patients were diagnosed within 6 months prior to registration. We defined malnutrition as weight loss of more than 5% of the initial weight during the 3 months prior to registration.
Results: There were 361 new cases of UC, 241 CD and 23 cases of unclassified IBD. There was a slight male predominance (M/F=1.2). Prevalence of overall malnutrition was 36.3%. It was significantly more frequent in CD than in UC patients (41.1% vs. 32.4%, p=0.031). In multivariate analysis, malnutrition in UC patients was associated with male gender (p=0.001), more severe disease (p<0.0001) and more extensive disease (p=0.027), while in CD it was associated with younger age (p=0.013) and more severe disease (p<0.0001).
Conclusions: About 1 in 3 newly diagnosed IBD patients presents with malnutrition at the time of diagnosis.


weight loss, malnutrition, inflammatory bowel diseases, recent diagnosis