Etiologies and 12-month mortality in patients with isolated involuntary weight loss at a rapid diagnostic unit.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 9)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 4,606 words
Lexile Measure: 1390L

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Abstract :

Background Numerous studies on involuntary weight loss (IWL) have been published since the 1980s, although most of them have included small samples of patients with specific symptoms. The aim of the present study was to determine the causes, demographic and clinical characteristics and mortality at 12 months in patients attended at a rapid diagnostic unit (RDU) for isolated IWL. Methods A single-center retrospective observational study including all patients presenting to the RDU for isolated IWL between 2005 and 2013. The following data were recorded: demographic and clinical variables, results of complementary tests (blood tests, x-rays, computed tomography scan and digestive endoscopy), main diagnosis and vital status at 12 months. Results Seven hundred and ninety-one patients met the criteria for IWL. Mean age was 67.9 years (SD 4.7), 50.4% were male and mean weight loss was 8.3 kg (SD 4.7). The cause for IWL was malignant disease in 23.6% of patients, non-malignant organic disease in 44.5%, psychiatric disorder in 29.0% and unknown in 3.2%. Overall mortality at 12 months was 18.6% (95%CI: 16.1-21.6). The mortality rate was highest in the group with malignancy (61.1%; 95%CI: 54.2-68.2). Conclusions Almost a quarter of all patients attended at the RDU for IWL were diagnosed with cancer. Mortality at 12 months was higher in this group than in the other three. Malignancy should therefore be ruled out during the first visit for patients attended for IWL.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A676583893