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Pediatric Crohn's disease: association of diet and exercise with body composition


In pediatric Crohn's disease, fat mass improves over time with treatment, but lean mass deficits persist.
This observational study of the associations of physical activity and dietary intake with lean mass and muscle strength in children with Crohn's disease was ancillary to a previously reported randomized clinical trial of an intervention to improve bone health.

In this study, 138 participants were followed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 24 months with evaluation of lean and fat mass using DXA ( Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry ), muscle strength ( peak torque ), Crohn's characteristics, dietary intake, time in moderate to vigorous physical activity ( MVPA ), and serum insulin-like growth factor-1 ( IGF-1 ) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha ( TNF-alpha ). Race- and sex-specific Z-scores for leg lean mass and whole body fat mass were generated. Quasi least square regression evaluated determinants of changes in body composition and muscle strength. Leg lean mass and muscle strength were positively associated with time in MVPA ( P less than 0.05 ) and negatively associated with increasing clinical disease activity ( P less than 0.05 ).

Both leg lean mass and strength were positively associated with IGF-1 Z-score ( P less than or equal to 0.03 ) but negatively associated with serum TNF-alpha ( P less than or equal to 0.04 ).

Neither lean mass nor muscle strength was associated with caloric or protein intake.

In conclusion, persistence of lean mass deficits was related to ongoing Crohn's disease activity but improved with greater time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Future trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of physical activity in improving lean mass in pediatric Crohn's disease. ( Xagena )

Lee D et al, Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; Epub ahead of print

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