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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2000 June;159(3):79-82

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Malnutrition in the elderly. Personal experience

Pellicanò S. 1, Calzone R. 2, Dattola O. L. 1, Mandica D. 2, Ciliberto E. 3, Frandina C. 3, Terra L. 1

1 Regione Calabria, A.S.L. n. 5, Ospedale «S. Giovanni di Dio», Divisione di Malattie Infettive - Crotone; 2 Regione Calabria, A.S.L. n. 5, Ospedale «S. Giovanni di Dio», Dietista; 3 Regione Calabria, A.S.L. n. 5, Ospedale «S. Giovanni di Dio», Servizio di Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva


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Background. Elderly people are rapidly gro-wing in western society. Malnutrition in the elderly has been reported to be more common than expected and it is associated with compromised functional conditions. Weight loss, a reduction of muscular mass and fat reserves is present initially in the majority of elderly with malnutrition. The causes of malnutrition may be social, psychological and medical. The aim of this study is the research of malnutrition in our series of elderly people.
Methods. 391 patients were enrolled in the period January 1994-December 1998, 44% were male. Criterion for enrolment was age over 60 years.
Results. 301 patients were affected by malnutrition: 285 with dehydration, 40 with anemia, 25 with altered dentition, 8 with tumors and 5 with hypothyroidism.
Conclusions. Both prevention, controlling the dietary intake, and early recognition of nutritional deficiencies, are mandatory.

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