New data from researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison recently revealed that pregnant women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are more prone to developing deficiencies in nutritional parameters. The data was presented in a poster at the Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (AIBD) annual conference, held in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 10-12, 2015.
According to the team, the nutritional status of patients with IBD can be affected by the disease. In order to investigate this possibility, especially during pregnancy, researchers conducted a retrospective review on data from 135 pregnant women suffering from IBD, enrolled at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. The mean age of the patient cohort was 31.4 years, and a mean IBD duration of 7.5 years. The team reported that 58% (79 patients) of the cohort had an ideal body mass index (BMI), while 36% (49 patients) were considered obese or overweight, and 5% (7 patients) were underweight.
The goal of the study was to determine the frequency at which nutritional information was obtained from pregnant women struggling with IBD, and the possible occurrence of abnormal nutritional parameters based on the women’s BMI prior to pregnancy. Researchers evaluated the nutritional levels of vitamin D, vitamin B12, albumin, ferritin, and iron.
The research team found that pregnant women with IBD often experienced several deficient nutritional parameters. Abnormal levels of albumin were found in 33% of the pregnant women analyzed, while 35% had a deficiency in vitamin D, 43% had abnormal ferritin levels, and 35% exhibited an iron deficiency. The levels of vitamin B12 were within the normal range in all patients assessed. The researchers also reported that the assessment of the nutritional status in this patient population was rather poor and inadequate.
“Nutritional parameters are inadequately assessed in pregnant IBD women who have inadequate [maternal weight gain],” wrote the research team according to a news release. “Body mass index may not be the optimal indicator of nutritional status in patients with inflammatory bowel disease,”
The team concluded that the nutritional status in pregnant women with IBD is often neglected and that its impact on the mother and baby’s health needs further investigation. The authors emphasize that, “All pregnant women with IBD, regardless of pre-pregnancy BMI should be screened for nutritional deficiencies.”