Weighed Dietary Intakes in Patients With Chronic Liver Disease


Poor dietary intake is assumed to be a major causal factor in the malnutrition observed in patients with chronic liver disease. However, the dietary habits of this patient population are poorly documented. The aim of this study was to assess weighed dietary intakes in hospitalized patients with chronic liver disease. Twenty patients with liver disease (10 men, 10 women; mean +/- SD age, 46.2 +/- 10.9 yr, mean weight, 63.3 +/- 8.0 kg, mean body mass index, 22.1 +/- 2.8 kg/m2; 10 alcoholic, 10 nonalcoholic) and 20 general medical patients, matched for age and sex, underwent a 3-d weighed assessment of dietary intake. No significant differences were observed in food intake or dietary composition between the patients with liver disease and the hospital controls. Patients with alcoholic liver disease showed significant differences in dietary energy, protein, and carbohydrate intakes compared with the patients with nonalcoholic liver disease when data were expressed in absolute terms but not when expressed relative to body weight; dietary composition was similar in both groups. Overall, patients with chronic liver disease, especially those with alcohol-related injury, consume a diet comparable with that ingested by other hospital patients both in amount and composition.

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James A. Levine, MB, BS, PHD, and Marsha Y. Morgan FRCP