Fatigue in out-patients with inflammatory bowel disease: Prevalence and predictive factors

Albert Villoria, Víctor García, Angelina Dosal, Laura Moreno, Antònia Montserrat, Ariadna Figuerola, Diana Horta, Xavier Calvet, María José Ramírez-Lázaro

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46 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Villoria et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background and Aim: Fatigue is a common and bothersome symptom in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. The study was aimed to determine the relationship of biological and psychological factors with IBD-related fatigue. Methods: Consecutive clinically inactive IBD outpatients receiving immunosuppressants or biological drugs were enrolled between January and December 2013. Patients completed a Fatigue score (FACIT-F), various psychological, quality of life (IBDQ-9), and IBD activity scores. Biological parameters were assessed, including levels of interleukins (IL-5, IL-8 and IL-12) and micronutrients. Results: We prospectively recruited 202 patients (28% ulcerative colitis and 72% Crohn’s disease) for the study. Fatigue measured by FACIT-F score was prevalent in the studied population (54%, 96/177) and higher than in the general population. In the univariate analysis no relation was found between IL levels or micronutrient deficiencies and fatigue. Fatigue was significantly related to female sex, Crohn’s disease, joint disorders, body mass index (BMI), psychological tests, thiopurine use, and anti-TNF treatment. All these variables were included in the multivariate analysis. Female sex (OR: 4.8), high BMI (OR:1.2) and higher depression rates (OR:1.2) were predictors of increased fatigue. High IBDQ-9 score (OR: 0.82) was significantly related to lower degrees of fatigue. Conclusion: Fatigue was prevalent in quiescent IBD patients with moderate-to-severe disease. It was associated with high levels of depression, low quality of life, and female sex. No association was found with the other biological and psychological factors evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0181435
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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