Background and Importance Adherence to a healthy dietary pattern has been shown to be inversely associated with metabolic syndrome. Low adherence to the Mediterranean diet is directly associated with a worse profile of plasmatic inflammation markers. Some studies have shown that this diet may reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases.
Aim and Objectives To evaluate adherence to the Mediterranean diet in patients with autoimmune diseases as well as their quality of life.
Material and Methods Retrospective, descriptive study of the adherence to the Mediterranean diet in patients with autoimmune diseases during January to March 2021. Variables collected: demographic (sex, age), diagnosis, body mass index (BMI), biological therapy, lifestyle, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, ferritin, calprotectin and C-reactive protein levels. Adherence was measured by the PREDIMED questionnaire. Quality of life was determined by: Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS), Checklist Individual Strength (CIS) and The Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Fatigue (FACIT-F). Information sources: electronic prescription and computerised medical record. Statistical analysis with R® software.
Results 66 patients were included (50% women), median age 48 (IQR 38-56). Median BMI 26.3 (IQR 26-39.1). Most frequent diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (18), Crohn’s disease (10), ankylosing spondylitis (8) and multiple sclerosis (7). 42% of patients had no previous comorbidity, 28% had arterial hypertension, 13.6% hypercholesterolemia and 6% depression. The median diagnosis year of the disease was 2012 (IQR 2002-2016). 37.8% of patients have had two lines of treatment, 24.2% three lines, 4.5% four lines. The most frequent drugs were anti-TNF therapy (19 adalimumab, 4 certolizumab, 4 etanercept), tocilizumab (5) secukinumab (4) and tofacitinib (4). Median scale VAS was 4 (IQR 1-6), CIS 83 (IQR 76-91) and FACIT-F 16 (11-24). Median of the PREDIMED questionnaire was 7 (low dietary adherence). No statistically significant differences were found between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and scores on quality of life questionnaires. Statistically significant differences were found with calprotectin levels and glomerular sedimentation volume. 78.7% of patients are not aware of foods with potential anti-inflammatory properties and 87.8% would like to receive dietary recommendations from healthcare professionals.
Conclusion and Relevance Although more studies are needed to link diet to autoimmune diseases, it is true that an appropriate diet reduces the risk of multiple pathologies. Patients demand information and as health professionals we must give it to them and reinforce adherence to good dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.