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Anorexia in the Elderly
Korean J Clin Geri 2014 Dec;15(2):56-61
Published online December 31, 2014;  https://doi.org/10.15656/kjcg.2014.15.2.56
Copyright © 2014 The Korean Academy of Clinical Geriatrics.

Moo-Young Kim

Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
 Abstract
Anorexia in the elderly often cause weight loss, therefore it is regarded as a common starting point of frailty syndrome. Frailty syndrome is considered as a critical point on the pathway to disability and mortality in the elderly. Anorexia in the elderly is caused by a complex process including physiologic, pathologic and psychosocial factors. Sensory and gastrointestinal functions decline dramatically with age. Common geriatric disease including depression, dementia, pneumonia and other infectious disease can cause anorexia. Medications play a major role in alteration of taste and decreasing food intake in older persons. Social isolation and loss of function regarding preparing daily meal are another cause which is easy to overlook. The early recognition of anorexia in the elderly is important to allow intervention and prevent functional deterioration in older persons. Screening tests for anorexia such as simplified nutritional appetite questionnaire (SNAQ) have been developed. Although at present no safe pharmacological intervention seems to be applicable for anorexia of aging, it is important to identify and correct the common reversible cause of anorexia of aging such as polypharmacy, depression, and constipation.
Keywords : Anorexia, Frail elderly, Depression
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