BackgroundThe hepatitis C virus is one of the main causes of liver disease worldwide and may develop nutritional deficiencies.ObjectiveThe objective of this study was to assess and compare different nutritional status methods of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus, and to describe inadequacies in dietary intake.MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted with adult outpatients with hepatitis C virus at a Brazilian hospital. Nutritional assessment included the 24-hour dietary recall, anthropometry (body weight, height, body mass index, triceps skinfold, mid-upper arm circumference, mid-arm muscle circumference, mid-upper arm muscle area, adductor policis muscle), Subjective Global Assessment, Royal Free Hospital Global Assessment and handgrip strength.ResultsA total of 94 outpatients (ages 30 to 76 years), was included, 46 were men. The prevalence of malnutrition as measured by the different methods was 6.4% (body mass index); 60.6% (handgrip strength), and 53.2% (Royal Free Hospital Global Assessment). There was correlation between mid-upper arm circumference and mid-arm muscle circumference (r=0.821), mid-upper arm circumference and triceps skinfold (r=0.575) and mid-upper arm circumference and mid-upper arm muscle area (r=0.781). Energy and protein intakes were below recommended levels in 49 (52.1%) and 44 (46.8%) of patients, respectively. Inadequate calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamin C intakes occurred in 92.6%, 97.9%, 63.8% and 60.6% of patients. There was an association between dietary energy and protein intake with Royal Free Hospital Global Assessment (P<0.001) and a tendency for them to be associated with handgrip strength (P=0.076 and P=0.054).ConclusionMalnutrition is frequently in hepatitis C virus patients. They have high prevalence of inadequate energy, protein and micronutrients intake, even in the absence of cirrhosis.