Unintentional Weight Loss Symptom Evaluation. Unintentional weight loss is often a consequence of physiological and psychological disorders and should be promptly investigated. On the other hand, sudden and unintentional weight loss requires immediate medical attention, as it could predict the presence various serious disease conditions. A decrease in appetite and therefore total calorie intake, and an increased rate of metabolism or activity level are associated with weight loss. Some of the health-related disorders that are associated with weight loss are listed below: Patients with cancer produce substances like cachectin and interleukins that are responsible for weight loss. Increased metabolism may be responsible for weight loss in patients with blood cancer. Various infections like lung abscess, HIV, fungal diseases, and subacute bacterial endocarditis (infection of the heart) cause unintentional weight loss. Tuberculosis should be suspected in a patient with chronic cough, low-grade fever in the evenings and weight loss. Lung Diseases: Besides lung infections, conditions like severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and breathlessness are also associated with weight loss. Digestive System Disorders: Digestive system disorders can reduce appetite and the absorption of nutrients from food, thereby resulting in weight loss. In addition, dental problems may also be associated with reduced food intake and therefore weight loss. Kidney Diseases: Kidney diseases may be associated with weight loss due to loss of protein in the urine, and the associated nausea and vomiting. Social factors like isolation and financial hardship are also responsible for the weight loss.
Effect of dietary supplements and physical exercise on sensory perception, appetite, dietary intake and body weight in frail elderly subjects. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1992;40:155-62. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2003;51:85-90. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1995;43:835-6. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2000;48:485-92. Evaluating and treating unintentional weight loss in the elderly. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1994;42:1100-2. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1998;46:1378-86. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2001;49:1309-18. The effects of improved oral hygiene on taste perception and nutrition of the elderly. Effect of flavor enhancement of foods for the elderly on nutritional status: food intake, biochemical indices, and anthropometric measures. Flavor enhancement of food improves dietary intake and nutritional status of elderly nursing home residents. Evaluation of the dietary intake of homebound elderly and the feasibility of dietary supplementation.
Involuntary Weight Loss - An Ignored Vital Sign in Seniors. Estimates suggest 13.3% of the population experiences unintentional weight loss, and up to 7% experiences a loss exceeding 5% of baseline weight.1 Elders are disproportionately impacted; 27% of frail elders over the age of 65 experience involuntary weight loss.2. Most practitioners and researchers define unintentional weight loss as a 5% to 10% decrease in body weight over a period of 1 to 12 months.3-6 A clinically useful benchmark is 5% over a 6-month period. Cancer is the leading cause, accounting for 24% to 38% of cases (weight loss may be the only symptom of tumor burden).5 Dementia results in marked taste and smell alterations, decreasing food’s desirability. Medication side effects (anorexia, xerostomia, dysgeusia, dysosmia, dysphagia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) are major causes for weight loss among elders.8. Involuntary weight loss is a predictor of mortality. Normal Age-Related Weight Loss. Beginning around age 65 to 70, weight loss occurs at a rate of 0.1 to 0.2 kg/year as a result of changes in hormones regulating appetite and satiety, along with decreases in basal metabolic rates.6,8. When patients state their weight loss is the result of dieting, probe for lifestyle changes. Maintaining weight loss is difficult, and if the patient is keeping the pounds off easily, dieting may be a coincidental occurrence. Determine if weight loss is intentional. Depression and nonmalignant GI diseases are common reversible causes.8 Interventions used to reverse or minimize further weight loss include nonpharmacologic (Table 1) and pharmacologic (Table 2), the former being first-line. No drugs are approved by the FDA for involuntary weight loss. The epidemiology of recent involuntary weight loss in the United States population. An approach to the management of unintentional weight loss in elderly people.
You should be screened for depression while other reasons for your weight loss are being considered. You could have another reason for weight loss and poor appetite, not just depression. The presence of fever or night sweats and weight loss might mean that you have an infection. Do you think that stress, anxiety or grief is the cause of your weight loss? If you have lost more than ten pounds or five percent of your body weight, contact your doctor. If the weight loss is less than this, you might wish to check your weight daily or every other day. If your weight continues to fall over the next few weeks, contact your doctor. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if the medicine may be contributing to your weight loss. You need to contact your doctor to discuss the possibility that your weight loss is related to one of the eating disorders, such as bulimia. It is possible that weight loss, decreased appetite and night sweats could be just anxiety. The presence or absence of other symptoms may provide clues as to why you are losing weight.
Unintentional weight loss is when you lose weight without dieting or increasing physical activity. What Causes Unintentional Weight Loss? Unintentional weight loss is often the result of an underlying chronic medical condition. What Are the Symptoms of Unintentional Weight Loss? Certain medications can cause unintentional weight loss as a side effect. How Is Unintentional Weight Loss Diagnosed? Note when the weight loss started. Also, make a note of any other symptoms you experienced around the time of the weight loss. Unintentional weight loss is a symptom of several conditions. What Are the Treatment Options for Unintentional Weight Loss? Your doctor will likely prescribe medication if a hormonal disorder is causing the unintentional weight loss. If your doctor suspects that your unintentional weight loss may be due to a more serious illness, such as cancer, you may undergo some tests to get more information.
If your clothes are getting loose, it could be a sign you are losing weight. Any of the following could mean you aren't eating well: You have an illness that makes you change the kind or amount of food you eat. You don't always have enough money to buy the food you need. You eat alone most of the time. Without wanting to, you have lost or gained 10 lb in the past six months. If you are older than 65 years, you should see your doctor if you lose 5% of your body weight over six to 12 months without trying. Put flavor enhancers, such as ham, natural bacon, or roast beef flavor, on your food; this may help you to eat more. If the cost of or access to food is a problem, ask your doctor about resources that can help you. This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.
An approach to the management of unintentional weight loss in elderly people. Weight loss in elderly people can have a deleterious effect on the ability to function and on quality of life and is associated with an increase in mortality over a 12-month period. We review the incidence and prevalence of weight loss in elderly patients, its impact on morbidity and mortality, the common causes of unintentional weight loss and a clinical approach to diagnosis. Voluntary weight loss among elderly patients is also associated with increased risk of death 17 and of hip fracture, 19 which highlights the importance of maintaining weight with age. 7.5% of baseline body weight) and unexplained weight loss is only 0.45%. Weight loss exacerbates the loss of fat-free mass (sarcopenia) associated with aging, 42 which leads to functional decline and fractures. 43 , 44 Many elderly patients with unintentional weight loss are experiencing concomitant malnutrition 45 and thereby have cachexia. 4 , 29 All elderly patients with weight loss should undergo screening for dementia and depression 30 by using instruments such as the Mini-Mental Status Examination 49 and the Geriatric Depression Scale 50 respectively. 1: Strategies for treating weight loss in elderly patients. Unintentional weight loss is common in elderly people and is associated with significant adverse health outcomes, increased mortality and progressive disability. Unexplained weight loss in the ambulatory elderly. Unintentional weight loss: diagnosis and prognosis. Unintentional weight loss in the ambulatory setting: etiologies and outcomes [abstract]. Evaluating and treating unintentional weight loss in the elderly.
Unintentional weight loss: Unintentional weight loss: Introduction. » Review Causes of Unintentional weight loss: Causes | Symptom Checker » Causes of Unintentional weight loss: Home Diagnostic Testing and Unintentional weight loss. Unintentional weight loss: Symptom Checker. Unintentional weight loss Treatments. Unintentional weight loss: Animations. Unintentional weight loss: Comorbid Symptoms. Read more about causes and Unintentional weight loss deaths . Misdiagnosis and Unintentional weight loss. Detailed list of causes of Unintentional weight loss.
Body Mass Index, Weight Change, and Death in Older Adults. The relation between relative weight and health differs between young and old. In older populations, weight change may cloud the association between a single relative weight and health outcomes.
Given that unintentional weight loss is a common condition among older adults and is associated with adverse outcomes, our objective was to review the evidence regarding risk factors, differential diagnosis, prognosis, investigation and treatment of unintentional weight loss in this population. Based on evidence from a large cohort study that involved 4010 persons aged 65 years and older from 11 cities in Europe, the most common independent factors associated with unexplained weight loss are those related to food intake. A chart review of 10 000 patients in seven family practice centres in the southeastern United States, where 45 patients (with an average age of 72 years and 30 of whom were women) were identified as having substantial, unexplained weight loss, showed that a comprehensive history and physical examination have the greatest potential for eliciting the cause or causes of weight loss. Another prospective trial randomized 29 dieticians to the provision of usual nutritional care or a new medical nutritional therapy protocol for prevention and treatment of unexplained weight loss among long-term care residents. One study also looked at the use of dronabinol for unexplained weight loss. Medications that are not clearly required and that may be contributing to the weight loss should be discontinued or appropriate alternatives considered. The role for specific nutritional interventions targeted at increasing caloric intake and improving weight is unclear. What is the prognosis for those with unintentional weight loss? Assessment of unintentional weight loss should start with a comprehensive history, including questions about associated factors, and a physical examination. Although treatment remains a challenge, clinicians should attempt to identify and address factors that may be contributing to the weight loss. A comprehensive history and physical examination has the greatest potential for eliciting the cause(s) of weight loss.
Unintentional Weight Loss in Older Adults. Patient information: See handout on unintentional weight loss in older adults , written by the authors of this article. Unintentional weight loss in persons older than 65 years is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Overall, nonmalignant diseases are more common causes of unintentional weight loss in this population than malignancy. Social factors may contribute to unintentional weight loss. Appetite stimulants may increase weight but have serious adverse effects and no evidence of decreased mortality. Unintentional weight loss (i.e., more than a 5% reduction in body weight within six to 12 months) occurs in 15% to 20% of older adults and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. 1 In this population, unintentional weight loss can lead to functional decline in activities of daily living, 2 increased in-hospital morbidity, 3 increased risk of hip fracture in women, 4 and increased overall mortality. Because unintentional weight loss is a nonspecific condition and no published guidelines exist for evaluation and management, the appropriate workup, if any, is difficult to determine. This article focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, and potential treatments of unintentional weight loss in patients older than 65 years.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gregg, Ph D, Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Mailstop K-10, Atlanta, GA 30341; e-mail, [email protected] . Gregg and Williamson, Mr. Gerzoff, and Mr. Thompson: Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Mailstop K-10, Atlanta, GA 30341. Analysis and interpretation of the data: E. Gregg, R.
Given that unintentional weight loss is a common condition among older adults and is associated with adverse outcomes, our objective was to review the evidence regarding risk factors, differential diagnosis, prognosis, investigation and treatment of unintentional weight loss in this population. Based on evidence from a large cohort study that involved 4010 persons aged 65 years and older from 11 cities in Europe, the most common independent factors associated with unexplained weight loss are those related to food intake. 10 In multivariate analysis, only difficulties in bringing food to the mouth and chewing were significantly associated with weight loss. A chart review of 290 medical records from many centres in the United States that included long-term care residents and home care clients found six factors to be associated with unexplained weight loss. A cross-sectional study of 68 community-dwelling older adults in the midwestern United States (with an average age of 86 years and 51 of whom were women) showed that depression (using the Geriatric Depression Scale) was independently associated with weight loss (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.12–2.43). 12 Another prospective study (n = 309) found that psychiatric and psychological diseases are one of the primary reasons for unexplained weight loss. Another prospective trial randomized 29 dieticians to the provision of usual nutritional care or a new medical nutritional therapy protocol for prevention and treatment of unexplained weight loss among long-term care residents. One study also looked at the use of dronabinol for unexplained weight loss. Medications that are not clearly required and that may be contributing to the weight loss should be discontinued or appropriate alternatives considered. What is the prognosis for those with unintentional weight loss? Although treatment remains a challenge, clinicians should attempt to identify and address factors that may be contributing to the weight loss. A comprehensive history and physical examination has the greatest potential for eliciting the cause(s) of weight loss.
Investigation and management of unintentional weight loss in older adults. Get access to this article and to all of thebmj.com for 14 days. 2 Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, UK. 3 Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK. Unintentional weight loss is common in elderly people and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Weight loss may be the presenting problem or an incidental finding during a consultation for other reasons. There are no published guidelines on how to investigate and manage patients with unintentional weight loss, and responses range from doing nothing (if it is viewed as a normal part of the ageing process) to extensive blind investigation because of the fear that it represents underlying cancer. We review the available evidence (mainly epidemiological and observational studies) and outline a structured approach to investigation and management of the older patient with unintentional weight loss.
Unintentional weight loss means that your weight is decreasing even though you are not actively trying to lose weight. However, significant unintentional weight loss in adults can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Unintentional weight loss may occur with or without appetite loss. In fact, in some cases, you may have increased appetite and still be loosing weight. Many factors can lead to unintentional weight loss, such as: Loss of the ability to taste food. If you have a chronic condition, like diabetes, follow the meal plan created by your doctor or dietician. Unintentional weight loss may be a sign of a serious condition. Are losing weight rapidly or weight loss continues despite efforts to increase the amount of food you eat. Think that your medicine may be causing the weight loss. Are concerned that you may have a mental health condition. Call your child's doctor if you child is losing weight. Unintentional weight loss and diabetes. Unintentional weight loss in older adults. Unexplained weight loss.
*Features include symptoms and the results of the doctor's examination. People's symptoms and doctors' findings on physical examination suggest the cause of weight loss in about half of people, including many people eventually diagnosed with cancer. When the history and physical examination do not suggest specific causes, some doctors do a series of tests, including a chest x-ray, blood tests, and urinalysis, to narrow down a cause. If all test results are normal, doctors usually reevaluate the person within a few months to see if new symptoms or findings have developed. Feedings through a tube inserted into the stomach are a last resort and are worthwhile only in certain specific situations. Older people are more likely to have involuntary weight loss because disorders that cause weight loss are more common among older people. There are also normal age-related changes that contribute to weight loss. Normal age-related changes that can contribute to weight loss include the following: Depression and dementia are very common contributing factors, particularly among nursing home residents. Tests are done based on the person's symptoms and findings on physical examination. Extensive testing is not usually needed to identify the cause of weight loss.
You have lost more than 10 pounds OR 5% of your normal body weight over 6 to 12 months or less, and you do not know the reason. You have other symptoms along with the weight loss. How much weight have you lost? Are you eating less? Are you exercising more? Do you have more stress or anxiety than usual? Have you vomited? Have you had constipation or diarrhea? Do you have increased thirst or are you drinking more? Are you urinating more than usual? Have you lost any hair? Are you pleased or concerned with the weight loss?
Approach to the patient with unintentional weight loss. Weight loss is a common problem seen by generalists. However, progressive unintentional (involuntary) weight loss often indicates a serious medical or psychiatric illness. Weight loss in the management of obesity is also discussed separately. ●Unintentional weight loss – Unintentional weight loss is also referred to as involuntary or unintended weight loss [ 1 ]. Clinically significant weight loss and nutritional issues in elderly patients is discussed elsewhere. (See "Geriatric nutrition: Nutritional issues in older adults", section on 'Weight loss' .)
Unintentional Weight Loss – Common Causes and Symptoms. This may also be referred to as physiological weight loss which may be a result of : If this does not occur or if there are signs and symptoms of some disease then the causes of weight loss may be pathological, meaning that it is a result of disease which is usually chronic in nature. Pathological or Unintentional Weight Loss. Disease Weight Loss. With unintentional weight loss, the reduction in body weight may be due to a disease. The most common cause of weight loss due to disease is a result of a lack of appetite, nausea or limited calorie intake. The weight loss in the early stages of these diseases may be due to a lack of appetite, nausea and malabsorption. Causes of Unintentional Weight Loss. The conditions and diseases below are some of the common causes of pathological weight loss. Unexplained weight loss and fatigue may be the only signs in the early stages. Mental or emotional stress may result in weight loss due to a lack of appetite and decreased food intake.
Unintentional Weight Loss and Appetite Stimulants. Elderly patients experiencing weight loss should be screened for depression (eg, Geriatric Depression Scale), as the incidence of depression is high among these patients in both community and nursing home settings. As a result, appetite stimulants should not be considered as a first-line treatment for unintended weight loss in the elderly because of the lack of clear evidence of their benefit and the potential for significant medication-related side effects. The use of megesterol acetate in elderly patients with weight loss often is seen in those who have been hospitalized and then discharged to a nursing facility. The antidepressant mirtazapine (Remeron) has been used to help increase appetite and weight gain in depressed elderly patients. However, it has not been studied specifically for unintended weight loss in the elderly. Physicians should work closely with other members of the care team to identify and treat the underlying causes contributing to weight loss. Evaluating and treating unintentional weight loss in the elderly. An approach to the management of unintentional weight loss in elderly people. Treatment of unintentional weight loss in the elderly.
Effect of dietary supplements and physical exercise on sensory perception, appetite, dietary intake and body weight in frail elderly subjects. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1992;40:155-62. Effect of liquid dietary supplements on energy intake in the elderly. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2003;51:85-90. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1995;43:835-6. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2000;48:485-92. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2005;53:970-5. Evaluating and treating unintentional weight loss in the elderly. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1994;42:1100-2. J Amer Geriatr Soc 1998;46:1378-86. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2001;49:1309-18. The effects of improved oral hygiene on taste perception and nutrition of the elderly. Effect of flavor enhancement of foods for the elderly on nutritional status: food intake, biochemical indices, and anthropometric measures. Flavor enhancement of food improves dietary intake and nutritional status of elderly nursing home residents. Evaluation of the dietary intake of homebound elderly and the feasibility of dietary supplementation.
My average bg readings since dx are at 128 and over the last two weeks, I'm averaging 112. Even on the ADA diet that my CDE has me on, I believe that it is a HECK of a lot less carbs than I was getting prior to diagnosis. Usually 1000-1500 calories a day and the carbs therein. I could not handle the amount of carbs your eating, 250 a day with snacks, and is why I asked if your testing after meals. Everyone is different so that carb intake might be fine for you if your meter says so, You asked about more calories that aren't carbs causing weight loss, cheese for example has little carbs but higher fat content and would not caise weight loss. The BMI charts are at best an approximation, and there are a lot of people who don't fit that prototype-big bones have something to do with it. But it sounds like your current caloric level is not quite enough to keep you weight stable, and that probably you just need to eat a bit more. AS you have learned pairing before with after meal meter numbers is the best way to see how varying amounts of carbs affect your blood glucose levels. If you are testing 2 hours after, test 2 hours after the first bite, or 60-90 glucose. It your meter says fewer carbs per meal, you may still be able to eat more in between meals so that you don't have to cut your calories. Often that rapid weight loss at the beginning, often even before diagnosis, means that numbers were regularly exceeding 180, although in your case it might be just because you cut the beet and cut back on the carbs. I believe that carbs are a necessary fuel for the body for quick energy and they have their place but I would like to cut back. I've read before that the ADA doesn't have a specific diet plan but does recommend a diet. My CDE also said that the goal to shoot for, in reference to A 1 C was below 7. I'll try adding more calories but it's gets very difficult to do it without the extra carbs and saturated fats.
You or a family member loses more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height. You have lost more than 10 pounds OR 5% of your normal body weight over 6-12 months or less, and you don't know the reason. You have other symptoms along with the weight loss. The health care provider will do a physical exam and check your weight. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, including: When did the weight loss begin? Is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch). The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
Weight loss.       Poor nutrient utilization can lead to weight loss, and can be caused by fistulae in the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea, drug-nutrient interaction, enzyme depletion and muscle atrophy. Unintentional weight loss can be the characteristic leading to diagnosis of diseases such as cancer  and type 1 diabetes .  Around 25% experience moderate to severe weight loss, and most others have some weight loss.  Greater weight loss is associated with poorer prognosis. People with HIV often experience weight loss, and it is associated with poorer outcomes. Medical treatment can directly or indirectly cause weight loss, impairing treatment effectiveness and recovery that can lead to further weight loss in a vicious cycle. Intentional weight loss is the loss of total body mass as a result of efforts to improve fitness and health, or to change appearance through slimming. Weight loss in individuals who are overweight or obese can reduce health risks,  increase fitness,  and may delay the onset of diabetes . Weight loss occurs when the body is expending more energy in work and metabolism than it is absorbing from food or other nutrients. The healthiest weight loss regimen, therefore, is one that consists of a balanced diet and moderate physical activity.[ citation needed ] The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical activity, generally in the form of exercise. In order for weight loss to be permanent, changes in diet and lifestyle must be permanent as well.
Unintentional weight loss. Home / Patient Symptoms / Unintentional weight loss. For all adults, substantial weight loss should warrant further investigation by nurses and health care providers and should not be dismissed as a normal consequence of aging.3. Additionally, use of multiple medications, or polypharmacy, can contribute to unintentional weight loss due to various side effects of medications such as changes in taste, anorexia, dry mouth, dysphagia, nausea, and vomiting. These side effects may lead to decreased appetite in older adults and subsequent weight loss. It is likely that patients with unintentional weight loss will be given nutritional supplements and flavor enhancers to enhance the client’s diet.
Unintentional weight loss Significant weight loss can also be the result of an eating disorder , such as anorexia or bulimia . If your weight loss wasn't due to the above causes, and you didn't lose weight through dieting or exercising, see your GP, as you may have an illness that needs treating. The following information may give you a better idea of the cause of your weight loss, but don't use it to diagnose yourself. Other common causes of unexpected weight loss. Less common causes of unexpected weight loss. Less frequently, unexpected weight loss may be the result of:
However, occasionally, the first symptom to develop in some serious diseases is weight loss. Some people may see a doctor to say that they have lost weight and don't know why. However, occasionally, weight loss is the first symptom noticed. So, weight loss is sometimes the first thing reported to a doctor. Weight loss may develop due to not eating much. It may be friends or family who actually notice that the person has lost weight. Family and friends may show concern about weight loss and not be aware that the person has an alcohol problem. But, occasionally, the first symptom that is noticed with infections such as tuberculosis or HIV is weight loss. However, weight loss may be the first symptom noticed. Again, it is sometimes friends or family who may first notice that a person is not right and has lost weight and it then turns out to be the early stages of dementia. See individual leaflets on the various diseases that can cause weight loss.
Dealing With Unintentional Weight Loss in the Elderly. Unintentional weight loss can result from a variety of conditions, with physical, mental, emotional and social factors playing potential roles. Causes of unintentional weight loss among seniors fall under the following classifications: Clinical depression, anxiety disorders, dementia and other mental illnesses can result in weight loss. Nonmedical causes of unintentional weight loss include socio-economic and social conditions. These are cases with no identifiable cause, and the weight loss is often more reversible for these seniors. There are other symptoms to be aware of that may contribute to or correlate with unintentional weight loss. Loss of appetite: Reduced appetite can result from dental issues, medical conditions, medication and several other causes. If caught early, many of the primary causes of unintentional weight loss can be remedied. The first step in addressing unintentional weight loss in seniors is to identify the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.
Investigation of unintentional weight loss. Letters Unintentional weight loss. Get access to this article and to all of thebmj.com for 14 days. Sign up today for a 14 day free trial. Please login, sign up for a 14 day trial, or subscribe below. We performed 116 oesophagogastroduodenoscopies for indications including weight loss, 58 for isolated weight loss.
Researchers observe harmful weight loss in patients taking a drug commonly prescribed for dementia. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) are finding that commonly prescribed dementia medications can lead to dangerous weight loss in patients . Often, weight loss presents a significant problem for patients suffering with dementia, increasing their risk of succumbing to the disease. To dive further into the risks, Sheffrin and a team of researchers examined Veteran Affairs (VA) data collected from dementia patients age 65 and older during 2007 and 2010 — patients were both diagnosed and being treated either with cholinesterase inhibitors or other new medications. From this VA data, researchers matched 1,188 patients on cholinesterase inhibitors with a control group of 2,189 patients on other types of dementia medication. Overall, researchers found that 29.3 percent of patients displayed significant weight loss while on inhibitors, as opposed to 22.8 percent who were not taking the drug. This evidence led researchers to conclude that cholinesterase inhibitors presented an increased risk of weight loss to dementia patients in comparison to other drugs. For example, they'd like to examine whether or not a certain subgroup of dementia patients taking inhibitors face a higher risk of this unintentional weight loss. "Clinicians should take into account the risk of weight loss when weighing the risks and benefits of prescribing cholinesterase inhibitors in patients with dementia," the authors write.
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