BACKGROUND: Malnutrition is universal in Crohn's disease (CD). The body mass index (BMI) is used to assess nutritional status to predict postoperative complications in CD patients. However, some CD patients have a normal BMI. The aim of this study was to evaluate risk factors for postoperative complications in CD patients with normal preoperative BMI values.
METHODS: This retrospective observational study included 315 CD patients who underwent surgical treatment between December 2012 and January 2020. Patient data were collected from a prospectively maintained database. The risk factors for postoperative complications in CD patients with normal BMI values were identified by univariate and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: In total, 315 eligible patients were included. The incidence of postoperative complications was 30.8%, consisting of 22.5% mild complications and 18.4% major complications. The albumin level, the C-reactive protein level, laparoscopic surgery, and operative time were significantly associated with postoperative outcomes. Multivariate analysis showed that a low preoperative albumin level (P = 0.013, OR = 2.991, 95% CI: 1.255-7.131) was an independent risk factor for postoperative complications in CD patients with normal BMI values.
CONCLUSIONS: A low preoperative albumin level was a risk factor for postoperative complications in CD patients with normal BMI values. Although some patients have a normal BMI, clinicians should still consider the preoperative albumin level in CD patients to evaluate their nutritional status and provide timely intervention to reduce the risk of postoperative complications.
Keywords: Albumin Body mass index Crohn's disease Postoperative complications Risk factors