Document Detail

Bacterial contamination of the small intestine is an important cause of occult malabsorption in the elderly.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6412829     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A study was conducted to examine the contribution that occult malabsorption makes to malnutrition among elderly patients admitted to an acute geriatric ward. Malnutrition was defined by anthropometric, haematological, and biochemical measurements. Out of 490 patients, 55--many of whom had presented with non-gastrointestinal symptoms--were found to be malnourished. In 31 poor diet alone was probably the cause, but in the remaining 24 patients previously unrecognised malabsorption was detected. Of these patients, 17 were found to have bacterial contamination of the small bowel (nine with duodenojejunal diverticula, four after gastric surgery, and four diagnosed as contamination with "no sump"). In 10 patients contamination was confirmed by culture of intestinal juice: Escherichia coli was predominant in nine cases, and anaerobic organisms in one. Small bowel bacterial overgrowth without a "blind loop" or obvious underlying cause has not previously been fully proved in the elderly. Coeliac disease was detected in two patients, and chronic pancreatitis in two. Occult malabsorption is an important cause of malnutrition in the elderly. Such malnutrition not infrequently occurs in geriatric patients presenting to hospital with non-specific symptoms of physical deterioration.
A McEvoy; J Dutton; O F James
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British medical journal (Clinical research ed.)     Volume:  287     ISSN:  0267-0623     ISO Abbreviation:  Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)     Publication Date:  1983 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1983-11-23     Completed Date:  1983-11-23     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8302911     Medline TA:  Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  789-93     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Bacterial Infections / complications*
Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
Intestine, Small / microbiology*
Klebsiella / isolation & purification
Malabsorption Syndromes / etiology*,  therapy
Nutrition Disorders / etiology
Prospective Studies

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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