P484 Inflammatory Bowel Disease exercise and diet habits (IBDeat) study: chronic metabolic disease risk factors among IBD patients in New Zealand

Yap, J.(1)*;Wall, C.(2);Meredith-Jones, K.(1);Iosua, E.(1);Osborne, H.(1);Schultz, M.(1);

(1)University of Otago, Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand;(2)University of Otago, Medicine, Christchurch, New Zealand;


Recent literature shows that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of developing chronic metabolic diseases which may be amenable to a healthy lifestyle. However, this may be challenging for IBD patients as disease symptoms may result in unfavourable lifestyle habits such as avoidance of healthy foods and reduced physical activity. In this study, we aim to describe the nutritional status and lifestyle habits of adults with IBD in New Zealand (NZ).


A cross-sectional nationwide study was undertaken from December 2021 to October 2022 in NZ. Participants were recruited through social media and the Dunedin public hospital patient database. An online questionnaire collected demographics, disease severity scores (harvey-bradshaw index and simple clinical colitis activity index), quality of life (QoL), physical activity, and dietary intake data. A subset of patients living in Dunedin had anthropometrics, handgrip strength, blood pressure, body composition (bioelectrical impedance), blood nutritional markers (lipid profile, iron studies, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate) and faecal calprotectin measured. Descriptive analysis was conducted and data were compared to population reference values. The study received University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ ethical approval (reference: H21/135).


The questionnaire was completed by 197 adults, median age 37 (IQR 25, 51) of which 72% were female and predominantly NZ European ethnicity (82.4%). In this IBD cohort, 54% had Crohn’s disease and 46% had ulcerative colitis or IBD-unspecified with quiescent-mild disease activity. Two-thirds of patients had at least one comorbidity aside from IBD and one-third of patients had impaired QoL (defined by a score <45). Most patients had nutritional risk factors including low intakes of fruits (91.3%), vegetables (94.4%), fibre (38.3%), and excessive intakes of fat (73.2%) and saturated fat (98.0%). Two-thirds of patients reported IBD-related barriers to exercise mainly due to fatigue (53.9%), abdominal pain (25.7%), bowel incontinence (23.3%), and joint pain (22.3%) in which only 59.7% met national physical activity recommendations. The Dunedin cohort (n=102) had further chronic metabolic disease risk factors such as central adiposity (63.7%), high body fat percentage (43.9%), high cholesterol/HDL ratio (29.3%), high blood pressure (26.5%), and poor handgrip strength (43.9%).


Findings suggest that NZ adults with IBD have multiple risk factors for chronic metabolic diseases that could be amendable to lifestyle interventions. Future studies should explore the feasibility and efficacy of nutrition and exercise lifestyle interventions to mitigate these risk factors.