Published online Aug 7, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i29.3293
Peer-review started: April 4, 2018
First decision: May 30, 2018
Revised: June 17, 2018
Accepted: June 27, 2018
Article in press: June 27, 2018
Published online: August 7, 2018
To investigate if vitamin D deficiency is associated with fatigue in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD patients were recruited from nine hospitals in the southeastern and western regions of Norway to participate in a multicenter cross-sectional study lasting from March 2013 to April 2014. Data were collected by interviews, from medical records and laboratory tests. The Fatigue Questionnaire (FQ) was used to measure fatigue. Linear and logistic regression models were applied to explore the possible association between vitamin D deficiency and total fatigue scores and chronic fatigue, respectively. The analyses were adjusted for age, gender, disease activity, depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance.
In total, 405 patients were included in the analyses, of which 227 (56%) had Crohn’s disease (CD) and 178 (44%) had ulcerative colitis (UC). Vitamin D deficiency (< 50 nmol/L) was present in half (203/405) of the patients. Chronic fatigue was reported by 116 (29%) of all included patients with substantial fatigue reported by 194 (48%). Vitamin D levels were neither associated with total fatigue nor with chronic fatigue. Higher total fatigue scores and chronic fatigue were both associated with increased disease activity scores in patients with UC and CD, but not with increased CRP or fecal calprotectin. In UC patients, female gender was associated with fatigue in the univariate analysis, but no such difference was found when adjusted for elevated disease activity scores. Sleep disturbance and more depressive symptoms were associated with total fatigue scores in both UC and CD patients, but with chronic fatigue only in CD patients.
In this study, no significant association between fatigue and vitamin D deficiency in IBD patients was revealed.
Core tip: Fatigue is common in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and is especially prevalent in active disease. We wanted to investigate if vitamin D deficiency was associated to fatigue in IBD as this is a common belief among both patients and physicians. To the best of our knowledge, no previous studies have investigated this possible association in IBD patients. We also wanted to take into account the multidimensional approach in understanding fatigue making it difficult to single out any one contributing factor. In this study, no significant association between fatigue and vitamin D deficiency in IBD patients was revealed.