Objective: To evaluate the food intake, anthropometry, body composition, and sexual maturity of children and adolescents with autoimmune hepatitis.
Methods: Thirty-seven children and adolescents with autoimmune hepatitis were studied. A questionnaire was given to evaluate food intake over a 24-hour period. Weight, height, and skin-fold thickness were measured. Electric impedance and skin-fold using Slaughter formula were used to evaluate body composition. Sexual maturity was evaluated using the Tanner stage method. Cumulative intake of corticosteroids was determined based on medical records.
Results: Most of the subjects were females (83.3%). Food intake did not meet recommended dietary intakes for energy, calcium, and vitamin A for 43.2%, 94.6%, and 59.4% of the patients, respectively. All subjects were in their respective pubertal developmental stage. A lower Z score for height-for-age (<−2.0 standard deviation) was found in 3/37 (10.5%) of the patients. Body fat over 30% was found in female patients by bioimpedance (41.9%) and skin-fold (45.2%) evaluation. There was a positive correlation between the 2 methods of measuring body fat (r=+0.800; P<0.001). A larger reduction (P<0.005) in Z score for height-for-age was observed in patients that received a cumulative dose of corticosteroids of more than 10.0 g.
Conclusions: Food intake in children and adolescents with autoimmune hepatitis is below recommended standards especially for energy, calcium, and vitamin A. Cumulative dose of corticoids was associated with reduction of Z score for height-for-age.