Nutritional Assessment in Patients with Leprosy

Authors : Lobo C, Aithal V, Raj RK

Publication Year : 2019

Abstract :

Nutritional assessment in leprosy and subsequent correction may have relevance in improving the outcome of leprosy. This study has been carried out to assess the nutritional status of patients with Leprosy and its correlation with outcome of the disease and complications. Sixty-two patients with leprosy attending the OPD of a Tertiary Care Hospital in Bengaluru, South India were included in the study. Socio-demographic, socio-economic parameters including household information and dietary intake were recorded using a questionnaire. Clinical details and disease characteristics were recorded. Nutritional status was evaluated using Body mass index, Mid – arm circumference and Waist hip ratio. Body fat percentage was calculated from Triceps skin fold thickness. Steroid use and reactional states were significantly associated with over-nutrition as measured by Waist Hip ratio, independent of age, gender or socioeconomic status. The spectrum of disease, treatment and grade of disability had no impact on the level of nutrition. This study highlights the importance of anthropometry especially measurement of Waist Hip Ratio as part of holistic approach towards evaluation of Leprosy patients. As the number is small and also belongs to patients attending OPD of a Tertiary Care Hospital, conclusions drawn cannot be extrapolated to patients present in the community. The approach should be studied at community level for future relevance specially for planning any interventions.