Investigating the changes in the dietary habits and the quality of life among patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease during the COVID-19 pandemic
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University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
Local Health Unit of Nea Ionia, Volos, Greece
Department Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A130
Diet is an important factor of the pathogenesis and the management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). We aimed to investigate the dietary changes during the Covid-19 pandemic and their impact on the quality of life among patients with IBD.

We conducted a cross-sectional online study using self-report questionnaires. The questionnaire included sociodemographic characteristics, eating habits (MEDAS scale, daily consumption of certain foods), quality of life (SIBDQ scale), lifestyle habits (smoking, physical activity, appetite, body weight perception), and Covid-19 infection status. The research took place from June until October 2021 and involved adults diagnosed with IBD who had internet access. The data analysis was performed with the IBM SPSS 21.0.

92 patients participated in this study, 71 (77.2%) females, and 21 (22.8%) males. 33 of the participants (35.9%) mentioned that their diet and lifestyle had deteriorated, while 16 (17.4%) mentioned that they had improved. The patients’ adherence to the Mediterranean diet was moderate. Most patients reported an average quality of life. Patients with Crohn's disease had better adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a better quality of life in comparison to the patients with ulcerative colitis, but no relation was found between the two variables. Regarding the feeling of hunger, 43 (47.7%) reported an increase, whereas 10 (10.9%) reported a decreased appetite during the pandemic. Additionally, 36 (39.1%) patients thought that they did not gain so much weight, and 23 (25%) that they gained a lot of weight. Smoking and exercise did not present significant differences compared to the pre-pandemic period. Only 2 (2,2%) of the patients were infected by Covid-19 and no one needed to be hospitalized.

Patients with IBD changed their dietary habits during the Covid-19 pandemic, but these changes did not affect their quality of life.

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