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Helicobacter pylori Infection and Anorexia of Aging

Valery A. Portnoi, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(3):269-272. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440240019004.
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ANOREXIA and malnutrition are frequently encountered problems in the geriatric patient population. Anorexia of aging, ie, anorexia caused by the aging process itself, has been proposed as the cause of clinically unexplained anorexia in patients of advanced age. Therefore, anorexia of aging can be the explanation for ensuing weight loss and malnutrition when there is no other clinical symptom. Many times, when no remedy is found to reverse anorexia and ensuing malnutrition, clinicians resort to enteral feeding.

We report 3 cases in which anorexia and geriatric failure-to-thrive (GFTT) syndrome were associated with Helicobacterpylori infection, then reversed after treatment with antibiotics and a hydrogen-ion proton inhibitor. The clinical presentation of the infection was characterized by the paucity of symptoms typically associated with gastric diseases, such as nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, and abdominal pain. Instead, patients exhibited signs of aversion to food, decline in mental functions, and the inability to perform activities of


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