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Inflammatory biomarkers and psychological variables to assess quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a cross-sectional study.

Annals of Medicine 2024 December
BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic gastrointestinal condition. While inflammatory biomarkers are valuable for diagnosing and monitoring the disease, their correlation with patients' quality of life (QoL) is not well-established.

PURPOSE: This study aims to investigate the correlations between inflammatory biomarkers and the quality of life (QoL) variables of individuals diagnosed with IBD in clinical remission.

METHODS: The sample of this cross-sectional study included 74 patients (80% women; 45 ± 11 years old) diagnosed with IBD. Outcome variables included faecal calprotectin (FC), C-reactive protein (CRP), cortisol levels from hair samples, and anxiety and depression assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-A and HADS-D, respectively), alongside QoL evaluated with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire 32 (IBDQ-32). Bivariate correlations were calculated using the Pearson correlation coefficient, and stepwise linear regression analyses were conducted to identify independent factors contributing to IBDQ-32 scores.

RESULTS: The IBDQ-32 did not significantly correlate with any biomarkers. However, it exhibited a large and statistically significant negative correlation with HADS-A (r = -0.651) and HADS-D (r = -0.611) scores ( p  < 0.001). Stepwise linear regression analyses indicated that HADS-A was a significant and independent predictor for IBDQ-32 scores (Adjusted R2 = 0.41, β = -0.65, p  < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Inflammatory markers such as CRP, FC, or cortisol in hair do not play a decisive role in assessing the QoL of IBD patients. These findings emphasize the significance of considering psychological factors in evaluating and managing QoL in IBD patients in order to identify severity, suggesting that instruments like HADS should be integral to comprehensive patient assessments.

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