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Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 Nov;23(4):833-56, vii.

Diarrheal diseases in the elderly.

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Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1402 South Grand Boulevard #M238, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.


Diarrhea in the elderly population is one disease that needs special attention in treatment and management, especially in acute- and long-term care residents, because of their multiple comorbidities, immunosenescence, frailty, and poor nutritional status. Close follow-up to ensure adequate hydration and electrolyte replacement and infection control measures to contain outbreaks should be emphasized to caregivers and nursing staff in acute- and long-term care facilities. Although C difficile colitis causes significant morbidity and mortality in this population, judicious use of antibiotics is important to decrease the incidence and recurrence of the disease. When the diarrhea is chronic and all stool testings and serologies have been performed, the patient may benefit from endoscopy and colonoscopy for biopsy. Attentive and vigilant nursing staff is crucial in the timely diagnosis and treatment of diarrheal diseases to improve quality of life and reduce mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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