P381 Fatigue is an independent disease manifestation largely independent of chronicity, comorbidity and disease activity in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Risager Christensen, K.(1);Steenholdt, C.(1);Buhl, S.(1);Skougaard, M.(2);Brynskov, J.(1);Ainsworth, M.A.(3);Schjødt Jørgensen, T.(2);Kristensen, L.E.(2);

(1)Gentofte and Herlev Hospital, Gastroenterology, Herlev, Denmark;(2)The Parker Institute- Copenhagen University Hospital, Rheumatology, Copenhagen, Denmark;(3)Odense University Hospital, Gastroenterology, Odense, Denmark


Fatigue is a common reported symptom by patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and often with profound negative impact on quality of life including daily activities. The aim of this study was to encircle clusters of key components associated with fatigue to explore if fatigue is an independent IBD disease manifestation.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in patients with IBD receiving biologic therapies at the tertiary IBD Clinic at Herlev Hospital, Denmark, from March to May 2019. Consecutive patients were asked to participate in a questionnaire survey when visiting the clinic. The questionnaire included: FACIT-Fatigue, Harvey-Bradshaw Index/Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index, short health scale, short IBD Questionnaire, and EQ-5D-5L. Additional disease-related information was retrieved from medical records. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify factors associated with fatigue.


Three hundred patients with IBD (Crohn’s disease n=190 (62%); ulcerative colitis n=110 (38%), mean age 44 years, SD 14) treated with biologics were included. The median FACIT F-score was 39 for the population, and scores ≤39 were considered moderate-to-severe fatigue. A high proportion of patients had moderate-to-severe fatigue (n=152 (51%)), these patients had significantly higher clinical disease activity (moderate-to-severe, n=56 (37%); remission, n=47 (31%)), compared to those with none-to-mild fatigue (n=148 (49%)) (moderate-to-severe, n=10 (7%); remission, n=105 (71%)) (p<0.005). Initial correlation analysis showed high clinical association between moderate-to-severe fatigue and patient reported outcomes, notably quality of life (rs=0.78), general well-being (rs=0.67), and disease worry (rs=0.52). The PCA subsequently reduced co-variables associated with fatigue into 3 main components, explaining 37% of fatigue (Figure). The first major component, explaining 15% of total fatigue, included ‘chronic disease related factors’, such as long disease duration, increasing age, previous use of biologics and corticosteroids, and previous surgery. The second component contributed to 13% of fatigue and comprised ‘comorbidity factors’, e.g., other chronic diseases, high body mass index (BMI), and self-reported disease activity. The third major component, explaining 11% of fatigue, comprised ‘disease activity and nutrition factors’ such as of high c-reactive protein, low iron, and low BMI.


Fatigue in IBD is only to a lesser extent driven by disease activity and nutritional deficits, chronicity, and co-morbidity. This indicates that fatigue is an independent disease manifestation in IBD.