Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 63,
November 2011 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Chicago, Illinois November 4-9, 2011.

Is Dietary Intake of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Adequate?

Aghdassi1,  Ellie, Yeganeh1,  Ladan, Balitsky2,  Amaris K., Morrison3,  Stacey, Frattasi3,  Michael, Su3,  Jiandong, Ma4,  David WL.

University Health Network, Toronto, ON
The University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
The Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON
University Of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON


To compare the dietary intake of women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) established for North American women by the World Health Organization (WHO). DRI has 4 sets of nutrient standards: 1. Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) are average nutrients requirement for a population group, 2. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is based on EAR + 2 SD that would meet the needs of 97% of people in a particular population, 3. Adequate Intake (AI) is based on information about average intake of the nutrient by a healthy group of people when there is not enough information available to estimate RDA and, 4. Tolerable Upper Intake Level is the highest intake of a nutrient that does not pose a threat to health for most people. EAR is particularly appropriate for planning and assessing intakes for groups of persons while RDA and AI are both used to plan healthful diets for individuals.


Women (n=147) meeting the ACR classification criteria for SLE who attend the University of Toronto Lupus Clinic were enrolled in this study. Demographics, anthropometric measurements, SLE duration, SLE-Disease Activity Index-2000 (SLEDAI) and SLICC (Systemic Lupus International Collaboration Clinic)-Damage Index (SDI) were documented. We used a 24-hour diet recall to assess the dietary intake. Diet composition was determined using ESHA nutrient analysis software program. The adequacy of nutrients intake were determined using the EAR which is the estimated median requirement of the healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.


Demographic, anthropometric and disease related data for the study subjects were as following (mean (SD)): age: 47.5 (13.1) years, BMI: 25.6 (6.9) kg/m2, waist circumference: 81.7 (14.8) cm, disease duration: 19.1 (12.0) years, SLEDAI: 2.8 (3.6), SDI: 1.9 (1.9), 55.1% were Caucasian, 32% had some post-secondary education, 60.5% were postmenopausal and 10.9% were smokers. The mean (SD) daily energy intake was 1658 (691) kcal and 10.9% of the patients had energy intake above the recommended level of 2403 kcal/day for women age 19–70 years of age. Percentage of energy from fat, saturated fat, protein and carbohydrate were 34.1% (27.0), 9.5% (7.3), 17.3% (6.1), and 54.2% (28.0), respectively. Although these mean values were close to the recommendations, 57.5% and 32.3% had fat and saturated fat intake exceeding the recommended levels (< 30% and <10% of caloric intake), 21.8% had protein intake below the EAR of 0.66 g/kg; and 32.5% of subjects had cholesterol intake more than the recommended 300 mg/d. More than 40% of the subjects had suboptimal intake of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and selenium. Intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, vitamins E and D were inadequate in more than 80% of the patients. Calcium, vitamin D, multivitamin and omega-3 supplements were used only by 68.7%, 85.7%, 42.9% and 21.8%, respectively.


Despite having a normal/high BMI, women with SLE do not meet the recommended levels of intake for protein and many of the micronutrients. Vitamin/mineral supplementation may be required for all SLE patients in order to meet the daily nutritional requirements of this patient population.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Aghdassi, Ellie, Yeganeh, Ladan, Balitsky, Amaris K., Morrison, Stacey, Frattasi, Michael, Su, Jiandong, et al; Is Dietary Intake of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Adequate? [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2011;63 Suppl 10 :2639

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