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Original Article
The evaluation of gastrointestinal involvement and nutritional status in systemic sclerosis: identifying risk factors for malnutrition in a cross-sectional study
Aims: Gastrointestinal (GI) involvement is frequently observed in Systemic sclerosis (SSc). Considering the effect of GI involvement on SSc patients, the risk of malnutrition might be increased. The study aimed to evaluate GI involvement and the risk for malnutrition and to demonstrate the relationship between disease-related features and risk factors for malnutrition in SSc patients.
Methods: SSc-related clinical features and disease severity evaluated with Physician Global Assessment (PGA) were recorded. Detailed GI symptoms and the impact of GI involvement on patients were assessed with the UCLA SCTC GIT 2.0 questionnaire. Nutritional status was evaluated with Body Mass Index (BMI) and the Malnutritional Universal Screening Tool (MUST).
Results: 104 SSc patients were involved in the study. Mean age of patients with SSc was 52.24±12.82 years. GI involvement was found in 85.7% of patients. 76% of patients had GI symptoms. The median BMI of patients was 25.3 (9) kg/m² with 4.8% of patients categorized as underweight. The assessment of risk for malnutrition using MUST showed 74% of patients at low risk, 16% at moderate risk, and 9.6% at high risk. No important association was detected between risk groups for malnutrition and UCLA GIT 2.0 score. A significant association was found between moderate to high risk for malnutrition and dcSSc (OR 3.12, %95 CI:1.26-7.73; P=0.01), the presence of GI symptoms (OR 5.32, %95 CI:1.16-24.36; P=0.03), the decrease in oral aperture (OR 0.35, %95 CI:0.15-0.79; p:0.02), and severity of the disease investigated by PGA score (OR 1.52, %95 CI:1.09-2.13; p=0.01).
Conclusion: GI involvement is a common manifestation in SSc patients. Approximately 26% of patients were at moderate to high risk for malnutrition. Several SSc-specific clinical features, including disease severity, the presence of GI symptoms, dcSSc, and a decrease in oral aperture were related to a higher risk for malnutrition.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, 2024
Page : 144-149