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Anorexia of ageing 

Anorexia of ageing
Chapter:
Anorexia of ageing
Author(s):

Francesco Landi

, Anna Maria Martone

, Riccardo Calvani

, and Emanuele Marzetti

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0059
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date: 18 August 2019

Anorexia of ageing, defined as the loss of appetite and/or decreased food intake in late life, is a notable paradigm of geriatric syndromes. The latter expression originated because the multifaceted clinical conditions that are common among frail older persons are not easily grouped into specific diseases or ‘traditional’ syndrome categories. Anorexia is indeed highly prevalent and is recognized as an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality in different clinical settings. Even though anorexia is not an unavoidable consequence of ageing, advancing age often promotes its development through various mechanisms. Age-related changes in lifestyle, disease conditions, as well as social and environmental factors have the potential to directly affect dietary behaviours and nutritional status. Anorexia of ageing is indeed associated with many of the syndromes and effects that occur when the accumulation of health impairments in multiple systems combine to make older persons more vulnerable to internal and/or external stressors.

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