Disclosures: D’Silva reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
April 21, 2022
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Researchers report high prevalence of fatigue in IBD patients

Disclosures: D’Silva reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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A systematic review and meta-analysis revealed a high prevalence of fatigue among patients with inflammatory bowel disease, according to research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

“Fatigue is a common and disabling symptom in patients with IBD but is poorly understood and inadequately addressed in the clinic setting. ... Fatigue impacts quality of life, social functioning and employment and is one of the leading concerns for patients with IBD,” Adrijana D’Silva, a PhD candidate in community health sciences at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “Up-to-date and accurate prevalence estimates and an understanding of fatigue risk factors are required to increase awareness of the burden of fatigue and highlight additional facets of IBD management that may be required to improve quality of life.”

Among patients with inflammatory bowel disease, fatigue estimates ranged from 24% to 87% with a pooled prevalence of 47% (95% CI, 40-54). Percentage: 47%

Seeking to determine the global prevalence, risk factors and impact of fatigue on patients with IBD, D’Silva and colleagues analyzed data from 20 cross-sectional studies with sample sizes ranging from 77 to 5,296 participants (mean age, 43-54 years; 34%-67% men).

According to investigators, fatigue estimates ranged from 24% to 87%, with a pooled prevalence of 47% (95% CI, 40-54), and between-study heterogeneity was high (I2 = 98%). When stratifying by disease, pooled prevalence of fatigue was 36% (95% CI, 30-42) in patients with ulcerative colitis and 42% (95% CI, 35-50) in patients with Crohn’s disease.

Further analysis showed prevalence varied by the definition of fatigue (chronic: 28%; high: 48%; P < .01) and disease status (72% active disease vs. 47% remission; P < .01). The most reported fatigue-related risk factors were sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression and anemia.

“The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated that the prevalence of fatigue in adults with IBD is high, though considerable between-study heterogeneity exists,” D’Silva and colleagues concluded. “Future studies should focus on better understanding the risk factors of fatigue and how addressing these may modify fatigue burden and its impact. Addressing fatigue in a clinical setting and the development of targeted interventions aimed at managing fatigue should be of high priority among patients with IBD.”