JOURNAL ARTICLE

The prevalence of malnutrition and fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies in chronic pancreatitis

Sinead N Duggan, Niamh D Smyth, Maria O'Sullivan, Sinead Feehan, Paul F Ridgway, Kevin C Conlon
Nutrition in Clinical Practice 2014, 29 (3): 348-54
24727205

BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic pancreatitis are at risk of malnutrition and nutrient deficiency due to malabsorption, pain, and poor diet. We sought to examine fat-soluble vitamin levels and malnutrition parameters in patients with chronic pancreatitis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a prospective controlled cohort study, 128 subjects (62 chronic pancreatitis patients and 66 age-/sex-matched controls) were recruited. Body mass index (BMI), handgrip strength (measure of functional capacity), fat stores (triceps skin fold), muscle stores (mid-arm muscle circumference), exocrine function, and serum levels of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E) were measured.

RESULTS: Half of patients in the chronic pancreatitis group were overweight or obese, although the mean BMI was lower in patients than in controls (P = .007). Handgrip strength (P = .048), fat stores (P = .000), and muscle stores (P = .001) were lower in patients than in controls. Of the patients, 14.5% and 24.2% were deficient in vitamins A and E, respectively. Nineteen percent of patients had excess serum vitamin A levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the prevalence of overweight and obesity, patients had lower muscle stores, strength, and abnormal vitamin levels. Detailed nutrition assessment including anthropometry and vitamin status is warranted in chronic pancreatitis.

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