Impaired Dietary Intake Among Patients With Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis

Patients with r-axSpA reported an impaired dietary intake of most micro and macronutrients, including those with suspected anti-inflammatory properties.

Patients with radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (r-axSpA) may have an impaired dietary intake, according to study results published in Arthritis Research and Therapy.

Investigators conducted a cross-sectional study to assess dietary nutrient intake among patients with vs without (control group) r-axSpA. Data were obtained from a previously conducted study at a rheumatology clinic in Region Västerbotten, northern Sweden and included patients diagnosed with r-axSpA aged from 18 to 75 years.

The control group was comprised of randomly selected patients aged 50 to 64 years without a history of rheumatic inflammatory disease. Each patient with r-axSpA was sex- and age-matched with 4 patients from the control group. Nutritional intake was assessed by the semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire Mini-Meal-Q.

A total of 81 patients with r-axSpA and 324 members of the control group were included in the analysis.

The clinical care of patients with r-axSpA might be improved by the incorporation of nutrition screening.

When comparing mean macronutrient intake, patients with r-axSpA vs the control group had a higher energy percentage (E%) from carbohydrates (44.9% vs 43.4%) and lower fiber density, lower intake of omega-3 fatty acids (1.12% vs 1.21%), lower intake of omega-6 fatty acids (3.86% vs 4.31%), and lower intake of linoleic acid (3.83% vs 4.26%).

Regarding micronutrients, patients with r-axSpA reported lower intake of magnesium, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin K, and beta-carotene vs the control group.

Adherence to the recommended daily intake of micronutrients was also decreased among patients with r-axSpA vs the control group. A lower proportion of patients with r-axSpA met the recommended daily intake of niacin, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin D. However, intake of thiamin was higher among patients with r-axSpA.

Study limitations included a lack of causal interpretations due to the cross-sectional design, lack of data on patients with newly diagnosed r-axSpA, and limited generalizability to patients of other age groups.

Researchers concluded, “The clinical care of patients with r-axSpA might be improved by the incorporation of nutrition screening.”


Hulander E, Zverkova Sandström T, Beckman Rehnman J, Law L, Söderberg S, Forsblad-d’Elia H. Patients with radiographic axial spondylarthritis have an impaired dietary intake-a cross-sectional study with matched controls from northern SwedenArthritis Res Ther. Published online August 7, 2023. doi:10.1186/s13075-023-03126-3