Malnutrition affects quality of life in gastroenterology patients

Kristina Norman, Henriette Kirchner, Herbert Lochs, Matthias Pirlich*

*Corresponding author for this work
83 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To investigate the association between malnutrition and quality of life in patients with benign gastrointestinal disease. Methods: Two hundred patients (104 wellnourished and 96 malnourished) were assessed according to the Subjective Global Assessment, anthropometric measurements and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Quality of life was determined with the validated Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form General Health Survey (SF 36). Muscle function was assessed by hand grip strength and peak flow. Results: Body mass index, body cell mass, arm muscle area and hand grip strength were significantly lower in the malnourished patients. Quality of life was generally lower when compared to norm values. Seven out of eight quality of life scales (excluding bodily pain) were significantly reduced in the malnourished patients. Comparing patients with liver cirrhosis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), patients with IBD experienced significantly lower values in the perception of bodily pain,social functioning and mental health. Malnourished liver cirrhotics suffered reductions in more scales (six out of eight) than malnourished IBD patients did (four out of eight). Conclusion: Quality of life is generally low in benign gastrointestinal disease and is further reduced in patients who are classified as malnourished. It appears that liver cirrhosis patients experience a higher quality of life than IBD patients do, but the impact of malnutrition seems to be greater in liver cirrhosis than in IBD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)3380-3385
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 07.06.2006


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