Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dementia and cause of death

A study into the causes of death of people with dementia has found that cachexia (loss of weight, muscle atrophy, fatigue, weakness and anorexia(a significant loss of appetite - not anorexia nervosa) ) and dehydration were the most common entries on death certificates (35.2%). Cardiovascular disorders accounted for 20.9% of deaths and acute pulmonary diseases made up 20.1%. The further advanced people's dementia was the more likely they were to die of cachexia or dehydration.

Koopmans, Raymond T.C.M., van der Sterren, Karin J.M.A. and van der Steen, Jenny T. - The 'natural' endpoint of dementia : death from cachexia or dehydration following palliative care International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry April 2007, 22(4), 350-355

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