Document Detail

The effect of age on the presentation of patients with tuberculosis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7579309     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To study the differences in presentation of young and elderly patients with tuberculosis (TB). DESIGN: Between January 1991 and December 1992 all patients with TB diagnosed at the Department of Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, were recruited into the study. The following data were collected: body weight, coexisting medical problems, presenting symptoms, radiographic appearance, sputum results for acid-fast bacilli and peripheral blood biochemistry. The patients were divided into young ( < 65 years) and elderly ( > or = 65 years) age groups and differences in presentation of the 2 groups were analysed. RESULTS: There were 78 young and 94 elderly patients with TB. The elderly patients had lower body weight, less haemoptysis but more non-specific complaints (25% vs 1%, P = 0.001). The chest radiographs in the elderly patients were less likely to have upper lobe infiltration (9% vs 37%, P = 0.0002) but more commonly had extensive infiltration of both lungs (17% vs 2%, P = 0.014). The only biochemical abnormality that was more common in the elderly was a low serum albumin level (64% vs 45%, P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Elderly patients with TB are more likely to present with non-specific complaints and atypical radiographic appearance. A high index of suspicion and prompt investigations in elderly patients may allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment of TB.
C H Chan; J Woo; K K Or; R C Chan; W Cheung
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Tubercle and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease     Volume:  76     ISSN:  0962-8479     ISO Abbreviation:  Tuber. Lung Dis.     Publication Date:  1995 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-12-01     Completed Date:  1995-12-01     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9212467     Medline TA:  Tuber Lung Dis     Country:  SCOTLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  290-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hongkong.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Aged, 80 and over
Hong Kong / epidemiology
Lung / radiography
Middle Aged
Pleural Effusion / microbiology
Prospective Studies
Tuberculosis / blood,  complications,  diagnosis,  epidemiology*
Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis

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