A new study reports that the prevalence of malnutrition in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is approximately 26%, and it is associated with increased hospitalization and mortality in this population.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, also reports that gender-age-physiology (GAP) scores, body mass index (BMI), and food intake are independent factors associated with hospitalization and mortality in IPF.

“This study included the largest cohort ever evaluated for the impact of malnutrition at diagnosis on the clinical outcomes of IPF patients,” the authors wrote. “Malnutrition and decreased food intake at diagnosis are associated with all-cause hospitalization and mortality in IPF patients.”


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The authors conducted a prospective cohort study on 153 patients newly diagnosed with IPF to determine their nutritional status, all-cause hospitalization, survival, and acute exacerbation rates. The patients’ BMI and fat-free mass index (FFMI) were calculated, and food intake was assessed using the Self-Evaluation of Food Intake questionnaire.

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The results showed that, at baseline, 26% of the patients were malnourished, and malnourished status was more common in the patients with a BMI of less than 25 kg/m2. Those patients with a low baseline FFMI were more likely to be hospitalized, but their rate of acute exacerbations was similar to that of those with a normal FFMI.

The analysis also revealed that during the follow-up, reduced food intake, baseline higher GAP scores, and lower BMI were all independently associated with rates of all-cause hospitalization and mortality in the studied patients. Only FFMI was not associated with these rates.

The research team recommends additional studies to determine whether nutrition interventions to improve intake and nutritional status could improve outcomes for patients with IPF.

Reference

Jouneau S, Rousseau C, Lederlin M, et al. Malnutrition and decreased food intake at diagnosis are associated with hospitalization and mortality of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients. Clin Nutr. Published online May 14, 2022. doi.10.1016/j.clnu.2022.05.001