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Nutritional intake and status in persons with alcohol dependency: data from an outpatient treatment programme

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PURPOSE: Malnutrition increases the risk of developing alcohol-related complications. The aim of this study was to describe nutrient intake, nutritional status and nutrition-related complications in a Danish population of outpatients with alcohol dependency.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study with a 6-month follow-up enrolling persons with alcohol dependency (n = 80) admitted to a hospital-based outpatient clinic. Body mass index, the waist-to-hip ratio and handgrip strength (HGS) were measured, a 7-day food diary was collected, and biochemical testing was conducted. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was performed to determine body composition and bone mineral density (BMD).

RESULTS: In total, 64 % of the patients with alcohol dependency had vitamin D insufficiency (25-OH-vit D <50 nmol/l). Compared with surveys of the general population, the patients with alcohol dependency had lower energy intake (p = 0.008), s-zinc levels (p < 0.001), s-magnesium levels (p = 0.02), Z-scores for BMD (lumbar spine, p = 0.03; total hip, p = 0.009) and HGS (p < 0.001). Osteopenia was observed in 52 % of individuals, and overt osteoporosis was noted in 7 %. Comparing baseline data with data from the follow-up (n = 30), we found a decrease in s-CRP (p = 0.002) and s-alanine amino transferase (p = 0.01) levels and an increase in s-parathyroid hormone levels (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with alcohol dependency have an altered nutritional status and risk of complications, as evidenced by osteopenia/osteoporosis and reduced muscle strength. Treatment at an outpatient clinic improved the variables related to liver function, but no change was observed in nutritional status over time. These findings suggest that specific screening and targeted treatment regimens for nutritional deficits could be beneficial.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)1483-92
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2014

ID: 44615034