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Polymeric Formula for Crohn's Doesn't Improve Adherence

In children, adherence is similar for both polymeric and elemental formulas

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In children with Crohn's disease, it has been suggested that liquid diet therapy with a whole-protein polymeric formula may be more palatable than an amino acid-based elemental formula. But adherence rates are similar for both approaches, although children on a whole-protein polymeric formula may be less likely to require nasogastric administration, according to study findings published in the September issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

M. Stephen Murphy, M.D., of the Institute of Child Health in Birmingham, U.K., and colleagues compared outcomes in 98 children with active disease who were treated with a six-week course of liquid diet therapy, including 53 who drank an amino acid-based elemental formula and 45 who drank a whole-protein polymeric formula.

Non-adherence rates were similar between the two groups (13 percent for the elemental formula group compared to 16 percent for the polymeric formula group), the researchers report. But the investigators found that nasogastric administration was more common among the amino acid-based elemental formula group (55 percent versus 31 percent).

"In comparing treatment efficacy, adherence is a crucially important consideration," the authors write. "This is especially pertinent if one of the treatments is inherently more difficult than the other. Compared with corticosteroids, liquid diet therapy can be an arduous undertaking for patient and family."

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