Nutrients 2013, 5(10), 4126-4133; doi:10.3390/nu5104126
Review

Anorexia of Aging: A Modifiable Risk Factor for Frailty

Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and Orthopedics, Teaching Hospital "Agostino Gemelli", Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome 00168, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2013; in revised form: 16 August 2013 / Accepted: 17 September 2013 / Published: 14 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Influences on Age-Related Frailty)
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Abstract: Anorexia of aging, defined as a loss of appetite and/or reduced food intake, affects a significant number of elderly people and is far more prevalent among frail individuals. Anorexia recognizes a multifactorial origin characterized by various combinations of medical, environmental and social factors. Given the interconnection between weight loss, sarcopenia and frailty, anorexia is a powerful, independent predictor of poor quality of life, morbidity and mortality in older persons. One of the most important goals in the management of older, frail people is to optimize their nutritional status. To achieve this objective it is important to identify subjects at risk of anorexia and to provide multi-stimulus interventions that ensure an adequate amount of food to limit and/or reverse weight loss and functional decline. Here, we provide a brief overview on the relevance of anorexia in the context of sarcopenia and frailty. Major pathways supposedly involved in the pathogenesis of anorexia are also illustrated. Finally, the importance of treating anorexia to achieve health benefits in frail elders is highlighted.
Keywords: elderly; sarcopenia; ghrelin; malnutrition; weight loss; disability; energy metabolism

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MDPI and ACS Style

Martone, A.M.; Onder, G.; Vetrano, D.L.; Ortolani, E.; Tosato, M.; Marzetti, E.; Landi, F. Anorexia of Aging: A Modifiable Risk Factor for Frailty. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4126-4133.

AMA Style

Martone AM, Onder G, Vetrano DL, Ortolani E, Tosato M, Marzetti E, Landi F. Anorexia of Aging: A Modifiable Risk Factor for Frailty. Nutrients. 2013; 5(10):4126-4133.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martone, Anna M.; Onder, Graziano; Vetrano, Davide L.; Ortolani, Elena; Tosato, Matteo; Marzetti, Emanuele; Landi, Francesco. 2013. "Anorexia of Aging: A Modifiable Risk Factor for Frailty." Nutrients 5, no. 10: 4126-4133.

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