John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement

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Deterioration of general condition: a “geriatric syndrome”? Volume 10, issue 1, Mars 2012

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Service de gériatrie, Hôpital Erasme, Université libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles

<p>Introduction: Deterioration of general condition (DGC) is a common cause of admission in geriatrics. Except some French textbooks which define DGC as a clinical pattern that associates asthenia, anorexia and wheigt loss, we did not find a consensus to define this entity.</p><p>Objectives: To assess the clinical pattern that covers DGC as a cause of admission in an acute geriatric unit.</p><p>Methods: Analyse of 747 medical charts of patients consecutively admitted between April 2006 and September 2008. The admission's complaints of patients were identified with a particular focus on the triad asthenia, anorexia and weight loss.</p><p>Results: Two hundred eleven patients (28%) were admitted during this period for DGC. Among them, 38% had at least one of the complaints that characterizes the concept of DGC (asthenia, anorexia, weight loss), 2% had three complaints, 8% had at least two and 28% one. Among patients referred for DGC, 45% were admitted for one or more geriatric problems and 53% for complaints of medico-surgical condition.</p><p>Discussion: The lack of consistency in the clinical picture of patients admitted for DGC does not say whether it's a real syndrome. In geriatrics, however it could represent an expression of frailty.</p>