Document Type





Objective: To determine patients perception and knowledge regarding diet in cirrhosis and its relationship with the level of patients education.

Study Design: Cross-sectional observational study. Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted at Gastroenterology Outpatient Clinics at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, the Aga Khan Health Services, Malir, Karachi and Hamdard University, Karachi, from January to December 2010.

Methodology: Consecutive adult patients with compensated cirrhosis were enrolled. Demographic data, level of education, type and reason of food restriction as well as the source of dietary information was asked. Baseline laboratory test were performed, and nutritional status was assessed by BMI normogram.

Results: Ninety patients, 58% male were enrolled. Mean age of the patient was 49 11 years. Overall 73% of the patients were restricting fat, meat, fish and eggs in their diet; 53% were in uneducated group and 47% were in educated group (CI, 0.24-1.62, p-0.34). Twenty two patients (62.8%) in uneducated and 21 in educated group (68%) were restricting diet on the advice of their doctors, whereas 13 in uneducated group (37%) and 11 in educated group (32%) believed these dietary components to be harmful for the liver. Thirty two of uneducated patient (71.1%) and 28 of educated patients (62.2%) believed that vegetables, fruits and sugarcane had a beneficial effect on the liver. Main source of dietary information to the patients was the doctor. On sub-group analysis those who restricted diet irrespective of their educational level, had more patients with BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2, (CI 0.01-0.94, p-0.001), haemoglobin less than 12 g/dl (CI 0- 0.03, p-0.001) and serum albumin less than 3 g/dl (CI 0.1- 03, p-0.001).

Conclusion: Both educated and uneducated classes of the patients have improper knowledge and perception of diet in cirrhosis. Patients with cirrhosis who restricted diet, had relatively low BMI, haemoglobin and albumin as compared to those who did not restrict. Main source of dietary information to cirrhotic patients were health care personnels.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan