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Weight Gain and Liver Steatosis in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Journal article
Authors R. Spagnuolo
T. Montalcini
D. De Bonis
Y. Ferro
C. Cosco
E. Mazza
Stefano Romeo
P. Doldo
A. Pujia
Published in Nutrients
Volume 11
Issue 2
ISSN 2072-6643
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Language en
Keywords inflammatory bowel diseases, weight gain, hepatic steatosis, transient elastography, attenuation parameter cap, hepatic steatosis, insulin-resistance, crohns-disease, risk-factors, obesity, lipotoxicity, prevalence, diagnosis, therapy
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Background and Aim: Most studies focused on the benefits of weight loss on hepatic steatosis and no studies have been specifically designed to assess the role of weight gain on the development of liver steatosis in patients affected by inflammatory bowel diseases. The aim of this study was to analyse the relation between weight change over time and liver steatosis in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated a population of 89 ambulatory patients in clinical remission or affected by mild disease, as determined from disease activity indices, with at least one follow-up visit. Transient elastography was used to quantify liver steatosis. Results: A total of 49 individuals (55%) were overweight/obese at baseline. A significant difference in weight change was found between participants that improved, were stable and worsened, over a mean follow-up of four years. (-1.0 kg +/- 4; 2.5 kg +/- 6; and 5.4 kg +/- 5; respectively, p = 0.009). We found a greater probability of worsening in the hepatic fat content in individuals who gained more than 6% of body weight than in those gaining less than this value (log-rank (Mantel-Cox) (2) test = 9.85; df = 1; p = 0.002). Conclusions: A body weight gain of 6% increases the probability of deterioration in liver steatosis over a period of four years in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Weight gain prevention with lifestyle interventions may be the cornerstone treatment of these patients.

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