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14-09-2021 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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Mediterranean diet may be beneficial for people with axSpA

Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Improved adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern is associated with a reduction in disease activity among people with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), indicate findings from an Italian observational study.

The investigation included 47 individuals who received specialist nutritional advice for a 6-month period with the aim of improving adherence to the Mediterranean diet and 63 of their counterparts who were not following a specific diet. At baseline the average age was 52 years and the average ASDAS-CRP was 2.1 points; most people (77%) were taking tumor necrosis factor inhibitors.

Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was moderate at baseline, with an average PREDIMED score of 6.7 on a scale ranging from 0 (no adherence) to 10 (optimal adherence) in the total study population and no significant difference between the groups. This increased to an average of 7.6 at the 6-month follow-up, with significantly higher scores in the intervention than the control group, at 8.6 versus 6.8.

Roberta Ramonda and colleagues from the University of Padua report that mean ASDAS-CRP decreased by 0.1 points from baseline to 6 months among people given nutritional advice, but increased by 0.2 points among those in the control group, a significant difference. People in the intervention group were also significantly more likely to achieve a 20% or greater improvement in ASDAS-CRP over the study period, with 17.0% and 9.5%, respectively, meeting this endpoint.

In a multivariable analysis, patients who achieved at least a 20% improvement in PREDIMED score over the study period were a significant 6.75 times more likely to experience a 20% improvement in ASDAS-CRP. The presence of psoriasis and longer disease duration were associated with a reduced likelihood of ASDAS-CRP improvement, albeit without reaching statistical significance.

“A better adherence to the Mediterranean diet may improve disease activity in axSpA; nonetheless, patients with psoriasis may have a limited benefit from a dietary improvement,” summarize the researchers.

They also evaluated predictors of improvement in PREDIMED score over the study period, finding that people in the intervention group were significantly more likely to achieve a 20% or greater improvement than those in the control group, as were older people and those with a lower BMI.

Taken together, the study results “may be relevant for personalized treatment approaches for axSpA patients,” conclude Ramonda and team in Arthritis Research & Therapy.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

Arthritis Res Ther 2021; 23: 219

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