Confusion and Malnutrition Equals Pneumonia in Older Patients

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Synopsis: Older patients have unique manifestations of community-acquired pneumonia such as confusion, decompensation of underlying medical diseases, and alteration of functional physical capacity. Delirium or acute confusion were significantly more frequent in older patients with pneumonia than in age-matched control subjects who did not have pneumonia. As in other community-acquired pneumonia studies, no association between the type of isolated microorganisms and the clinical presentation of community-acquired pneumonia existed, except for pleuritic chest pain, which was more common in pneumonia caused by typical pathogens. Approximately 16% of patients with pneumonia were considered well nourished compared with 47% of control subjects, with kwashiorkor-like malnutrition being the predominant type of nutritional defect. Delirium and malnutrition were found to be very common clinical manifestations in older patients with community-acquired pneumonia.Source: Riquelme R et al. Community-acquired pneumonia in the elderly: clinical and nutritional aspects.

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