Nutritional, clinical and socioeconomic profile of patients with cystic fibrosis treated at a referral center in northeastern Brazil

OBJECTIVE: To describe the profile of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). METHODS: A prospective, cross-sectional study involving CF patients < 18 years of age, evaluated between March and July of 2006 at a referral center in northeastern Brazil. Nutritional assessment was performed using Z scores for height/age (H/A), weight/age (W/A) and weight/height (W/H), as well as %weight/height (%W/H) and body composition measurements. Socioeconomic and clinical data were obtained. RESULTS: Twenty-one patients were evaluated, 12 (57.1%) of whom were female. Mean age at diagnosis was 3.8 ± 3.9 years. The principal features at diagnosis were respiratory infection (85.7%), steatorrhea (66.7%) and nutritional deficit (47.6%). The mean Z scores for W/A, H/A and W/H were 0.73 ± 0.28, 0.34 ± 0.21 and 0.73 ± 0.35, respectively. Mean %W/H was 94.52 ± 1.58. The percentage of malnourished children assessed by Z score differed from that assessed by %W/H (nutritional deficit in 66.7% and 33.3%, respectively; p > 0.05). Socioeconomic status, clinical status and Shwachman score were better among well-nourished patients than among those classified as malnourished (p < 0.05 for Shwachman score). CONCLUSIONS: Normal nutritional status was identified based on nutritional indicators (W/A, H/A and W/H), whereas nutritional deficit was identified by assessing body composition. Socioeconomic factors proved favorable, especially maternal education and per capita income. Age at diagnosis was higher than that reported in the literature, although the Shwachman score and the incidence of respiratory infections demonstrated that the patients presented good clinical status.

Cystic fibrosis; Nutritional assessment; Symptoms, clinical; Socioeconomic factors


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