Lifestyle factors including diet and biochemical biomarkers in acute intermittent porphyria: Results from a case-control study in northern Norway
AuthorStorjord, Elin; Dahl, Jim André; Landsem, Anne; Ludviksen, Judith K; Karlsen, Marlene; Karlsen, Bård Ove; Brekke, Ole-Lars
Methods: A case-control study with 50 AIP cases and 50 controls matched for age, sex and place of residence was performed. Dietary intake was registered using a food diary in 46 matched pairs. Symptoms, alcohol intake, stress and other triggering factors of the last AIP attack were recorded on questionnaires. Porphyrin precursors, liver and kidney function markers, vitamins, diabetogenic hormones and other nutritional biomarkers were analyzed by routine methods. The Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test was used to compare the cases vs. controls. The Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was used on the cases.
Results: Increasing total energy intake was negatively correlated with the biochemical disease activity. The intake of carbohydrates was lower than recommended, i.e., 40 and 39% of total energy intake in the AIP cases and controls, respectively. The plasma resistin level was significantly higher (p = .03) in the symptomatic than asymptomatic cases. Plasma insulin was lower in those with high porphobilinogen levels. The intake of sugar and candies were higher in the AIP cases with low U-delta aminolevulinic acid (ALA) levels (p = .04). Attacks were triggered by psychological stress (62%), physical strain (38%), food items (24%) and alcohol (32%) in the 34 symptomatic cases. Alcohol was used regularly by 88% of the cases (3.2 g ethanol/day) and 90% of the controls (6.3 g/day), but the intake was significantly lower in symptomatic than in asymptomatic cases (p = .045).
Conclusion: A high intake of energy, sugar and candies and a higher insulin level were associated with a lower biochemical disease activity. The resistin level was higher in the symptomatic than the asymptomatic cases. AIP patients drink alcohol regularly, but the intake was significantly lower in the symptomatic cases.