In our presentation we draw attention to the importance of negative prognostics of the cachexia-anorexia syndrome on the survival of the elderly suffering from chronic illness, especially from cancer. We performed a retrospective analysis in the Mezőhegyes Rehabilitation Centre to evaluate the characteristics and frequency of cachexia in elderly patients. Our goal was to examine their nutritional state and chronic withering diseases, discovering causes that frequently lead to cachexia, analysing correlation between cachexia and chronic withering diseases and their effect on mortality. Within 3 years more than a third of all patients (638 patients) showed chronic disease related malnutrition. The most frequent cause was senile dementia (358 patients), malignant processes related to cachexia being relatively infrequent (72 patients). Among the different forms of cachexia, the most important was tumorous cachexia. Chronic withering diseases associated with cachexia clearly influence mortality. Finally we could say that, according to literature, untreated or improperly treated malnutrition impaired survival and quality of life. We may state that the correction of the elderly patients’ nutritional state who are predisposed to cachexia and exposed to risks of malignant cachexia is at least as important as treating the primary disease.
Keywords: cachexy-anorexy syndrome, chronic marasmic diseases, insuline resistence, nutritional status