Objectives The purpose of the study was to compare nutritional status in adults with a history of JA with nutritional status in healthy subjects.
Methods All patients diagnosed with JA between 1980–1985 were re-investigated in 1997. Eighty-eight female patients and 51 male patients were >20 years of age and in remission at the time-point of investigation. Mean age was 25.2 ± 2.8 years in females and 25.0 ± 3.0 years in males. Mean age at disease debut was 9.7 ± 3.2 in the females and 10.1 ± 3.4 in the males. Median years (range) with active disease was 6.7 (0.3–25.1) in the female group and 3.3 (0.1–15.5) in the male group. Forty-one healthy females (mean age 27.4 ± 3.1 years) and 54 healthy males (mean age 25.7 ± 3.1 years) were recruited from a military base in the Oslo area as controls. Total body lean body mass and body fat percentages were measured with DXA scanner (Lunar Expert). As laboratory measurements serum albumin concentration and haemoglobin concentrations were measured. Dietary intake was evaluated from a quantitative food frequency questionnaire.
Results While Body Mass Index (weight/height2) was similar in the two groups the subjects with a history of JA had significantly more lean mass than the healthy controls (p < 0.01 for both females and males) and had significantly lower percentage of body fat (p < 0.001 in both females and males). The subjects with a history of JA had a statistical significant higher concentration of haemoglobin (p < 0.001 for the females and p < 0.05 for the males) and serum albumin concentration (p < 0.001 for both) compared with the healthy controls. The patient groups had a higher energy intake per kilo body weight and fat intake than the control group, though this was only statistical significant in the male group (p < 0,05). The frequency and amount of physical activity at the time-point of investigation was similar in the patients with a history of JA and the controls.
Conclusion Nutritional status in young adults with a history of JA does not seem to affected by disease during puberty, at least not negatively.
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