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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 762191, 7 pages
Research Article

Determinants of Weight Loss prior to Diagnosis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Retrospective Observational Study

Gastroenterology Department, Croydon University Hospital, London Road, Croydon, London CR7 7YE, UK

Received 11 August 2014; Revised 3 November 2014; Accepted 6 November 2014; Published 23 November 2014

Academic Editor: Zeynel Mungan

Copyright © 2014 Yasser Elsherif et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. To identify prevalence, severity, and environmental determinants of weight loss in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients just prior to time of formal diagnosis. Methodology. IBD patients attending outpatient clinic were questioned about weight loss prior to diagnosis and other environmental and demographic variables. The percentage BMI loss was calculated for each subject and factors associated with weight loss were determined. Results. Four hundred and ninety-four subjects were recruited (237 cases of Crohn’s disease (CD) and 257 cases of ulcerative colitis (UC)). Overall, 57% of subjects with CD and 51% of subjects with UC experienced significant weight loss prior to diagnosis (>5% BMI loss). Younger age at diagnosis and history of previous IBD surgery were significantly associated with both lower BMI at diagnosis and increased weight loss prior to diagnosis. In CD patients, increasing age at diagnosis was inversely associated with weight loss prior to diagnosis. Ileal disease was a risk factor of weight loss, whereas prior appendectomy was associated with reduced risk of weight loss. Conclusions. Weight loss is a significant problem for many IBD patients at presentation, especially in younger age and CD with ileal involvement. Appendectomy is associated with diminished weight loss.