Scurvy in hospitalized elderly patients
- 163 Downloads
The aim of this study was to systematically screen hospitalized elderly patients for clinical symptoms of scurvy and to confirm the diagnosis with biological measures.
Geriatric acute care ward.
Scurvy symptoms (one or more among perifollicular hyperkeratosis, petechiae or bruises, haemorrhagic features caused by venous puncture, severe gingivitis). We compared associated diseases, nutritional status, need for assistance for feeding, serum albumin, transthyretin, B9 and B12 vitamins, iron status and Serum Ascorbic Acid Level (SAAL) and outcome (in-hospital mortality) between scurvy and scurvy free patients.
18 patients with clinical symptoms of scurvy (scurvy group) were identified out of 145 consecutive patients (12%). They were compared to 23 consecutive control patients with no clinical symptoms of scurvy (scurvy-free group). SAAL was significantly lower (1.09 ± 1.06 vs 4.87 ± 4.2 mg.L-1, p<.001) and vitamin C deficiency more frequent (94 vs 30 %, p<.001) in the scurvy group. Moreover, in scurvy group, coronary heart disease (39 vs 9 %, p=.028), need for assistance for feeding (56 vs 13 %, p=.006) and in-hospital deaths (44 vs 9 %, p=.012) were more frequent.
Ninety-four percent of patients with clinical symptoms of scurvy had vitamin C deficiency. Our results suggest that in hospitalized elderly patients, clinical symptoms allow scurvy diagnosis. Scurvy could be a frequent disease in elderly patients admitted to acute geriatric ward.
Key wordsScurvy malnutrition older adults
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 8.Blanchard J, Conrad KA, Garry PJ. Effects of age and intake on vitamin C disposition in females. Eur J Clin Nutr.1990:4;447–460.Google Scholar
- 14.Hodges RE, Hood J, Canham JE, Sauberlich HE, Baker EM. Clinical manifestations of ascorbic acid deficiency in man. Am J Clin Nut.1971;24:432–443.Google Scholar
- 22.Thurnam DI. Impact of disease on markers of micronutrients status. Proc Nutr Soc.1997;56:421–431.Google Scholar
- 24.Bauer JM, Vogl T, Wicklein S, Trögner J, Mühlberg W, Sieber CC. Comparison of the Mini Nutritional Assessment, Subjective Global Assessment, and Nutritional Risk Screening (NRS 2002) for nutritional screening and assessment in geriatric hospital patients. Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2005;38:322–327.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 25.Riemersma RA, Wood DA, Macintyre CC, Elton RA, Gey KF, Oliver MF. Antioxidants and pro-oxidants in coronary heart disease. Lancet.1991;337:667.Google Scholar
- 28.Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A, Luben R, Wareham N, Oakes S, et al. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European Prospective investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Lancet.2001;357:657–663.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar