Quality of life and nutritional status in alcohol addicts and patients with chronic liver disease.Trop Gastroenterol. 2007 Oct-Dec; 28(4):171-5.TG
The aim of the study was to assess and compare the nutritional status and quality of life in chronic liver disease (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) patients and alcohol addicts.
Patients with alcoholic liver disease (n=41), nonalcoholic liver disease (n=40), alcohol addicts (n=25) without liver disease and healthy controls (n=25) were randomly selected. Nutritional status was assessed using anthropometric measurements viz. skin fold thickness, arm muscle circumference and area. Biochemical estimations included liver function tests. Food intake was assessed using 48 hour recall and macro-nutrient intake was calculated. Quality of life was assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire.
The mean value of mid-arm muscle area was significantly lower in patients from the non-alcoholic liver disease group when compared with the other 2 groups (p= 0.0). Body fat store depletion was significantly lower in the alcohol addict group when set against the alcoholic liver disease and non-alcoholic liver disease groups (p= 0.0). The mean percentages of ideal calories (p= 0.0) and proteins (p= 0.0) were significantly higher in alcohol addicts but no significant differences in the mean percentage of fat intake (p= 0.1) was observed. The frequency of macro-nutrient deficiency was highest in the non-alcoholic liver disease group (p= 0.0). Ethanol consumption was not significantly different between alcohol addicts and patients suffering from alcoholic liver disease (p=0.06). Patients with liver disease (irrespective of aetiology) scored significantly lower on the quality of life scale when compared to alcohol addicts.
Malnutrition is more frequent and severe in patients suffering from chronic liver disease in comparison to alcohol addicts. The health status is significantly poorer in patients suffering from alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol does not seem to play a primary role in the pathogenesis of liver disease and malnutrition.