OBJECTIVE: Systemic inflammation, therapy with corticosteroids, and reduced physical activity may increase the predisposition to accumulate body fat in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of this study was to assess the nutritional status and food intake of patients with SLE.
METHODS: One hundred seventy women with SLE were evaluated consecutively in a cross-sectional study. Nutritional status was assessed by subjective global assessment and body mass index. Food intake was assessed by a 24-h recall and a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), considering P < 0.05 as significant.
RESULTS: The mean ± SD age of the patients was 39.14 ± 9.98 y, and the duration of the disease was 9.94 ± 6.18 y. Approximately 91.8% patients were classified as being well nourished; 6.5% were classified as suspected or moderately malnourished, and 1.8% were classified as severely malnourished. In terms of body mass index, malnutrition was found in 1.2% of the patients, normal weight in 35.9%, overweight in 35.3%, and obesity in 27.7%. Most patients reported food consumption below the estimated needs for energy. Calcium was the nutrient with the most inadequate intake. Low consumption of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products and a high consumption of oils and fats were reported.
CONCLUSION: The results showed that patients with SLE have inadequate nutritional status and food intake.
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