Impact on Diet Quality and Burden of Care in Sapropterin Dihydrochloride Use in Children with Phenylketonuria: A 6 Month Follow-Up Report

Maria Inês Gama, Anne Daly, Catherine Ashmore, Sharon Evans, André Moreira-Rosário, Júlio César Rocha, Anita MacDonald

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Abstract

Introduction: In phenylketonuria (PKU) changes in dietary patterns and behaviors in sapropterin-responsive populations have not been widely reported. We aimed to assess changes in food quality, mental health and burden of care in a paediatric PKU sapropterin-responsive cohort. Methods: In an observational, longitudinal study, patient questionnaires on food frequency, neophobia, anxiety and depression, impact on family and burden of care were applied at baseline, 3 and 6-months post successful sapropterin-responsiveness testing (defined as a 30% reduction in blood phenylalanine levels). Results: 17 children (10.8 ± 4.2 years) completed 6-months follow-up. Patients body mass index (BMI) z-scores remained unchanged after sapropterin initiation. Blood phenylalanine was stable. Natural protein increased (p < 0.001) and protein substitute intake decreased (p = 0.002). There were increases in regular cow’s milk (p = 0.001), meat/fish, eggs (p = 0.005), bread (p = 0.01) and pasta (p = 0.011) intakes but special low-protein foods intake decreased. Anxiety (p = 0.016) and depression (p = 0.022) decreased in caregivers. The impact-on-family, familial-social impact (p = 0.002) and personal strain (p = 0.001) lessened. After sapropterin, caregivers spent less time on PKU tasks, the majority ate meals outside the home more regularly and fewer caregivers had to deny food choices to their children. Conclusion: There were significant positive changes in food patterns, behaviors and burden of care in children with PKU and their families after 6-months on sapropterin treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3603
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • burden of care
  • food literacy
  • food patterns
  • phenylketonuria
  • sapropterin

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