Disturbed appetite and nutrient intake in peritoneal dialysis patients

Wright, Mark, Woodrow, Graham, O'Brien, Siobahn, King, Neil A., Dye, Louise, Blundell, John E., Brownjohn, Aleck, & Turney, John (2003) Disturbed appetite and nutrient intake in peritoneal dialysis patients. Peritoneal Dialysis International, 23(6), pp. 550-556.

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Malnutrition is common among peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Reduced nutrient intake contributes to this. It has long been assumed that this reflects disturbed appetite. We set out to define the appetite profiles of a group of PD patients using a novel technique.


Prospective, cross-sectional comparison of PD patients versus controls.


Teaching hospital dialysis unit.


39 PD patients and 42 healthy controls.


Visual analog ratings were recorded at hourly intervals to generate daily profiles for hunger and fullness. Summary statistics were generated to compare the groups. Food intake was measured using 3-day dietary records.


Hunger and fullness profiles. Derived hunger and fullness scores.


Controls demonstrated peaks of hunger before mealtimes, with fullness scores peaking after meals. The PD profiles had much reduced premeal hunger peaks. A postmeal reduction in hunger was evident, but the rest of the trace was flat. The PD fullness profile was also flatter than in the controls. Mean scores were similar despite the marked discrepancy in the profiles. The PD group had lower peak hunger and less diurnal variability in their hunger scores. They also demonstrated much less change in fullness rating around mealtimes, while the mean and peak fullness scores were little different. The reported nutrient intake was significantly lower for PD.


The data suggest that PD patients normalize their mean appetite perception at a lower level of nutrient intake than controls, suggesting that patient-reported appetite may be misleading in clinical practice. There is a loss of the usual daily variation for the PD group, which may contribute to their reduced food intake. The technique described here could be used to assess the impact of interventions upon the abnormal PD appetite profile.

Impact and interest:

20 citations in Scopus
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14 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 34269
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0896-8608
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 27 Aug 2010 06:07
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2015 04:17

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