Disease Information for Malnutrition/Starvation: Definition

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  • Inadequate food and vitamins; inadequate volume and quality; deficient protein intake;----------------------------------Starvation [protein-calorie] History of decreased intake of energy or protein, increased nutrient losses, or increased nutrient requirements; Manifestations range from weight loss and growth failure to distinct syndromes, kwashiorkor, and marasmus; In severe cases, virtually all organ systems are affected; Protein loss correlates with weight loss; Thirty-five to 40% total body weight loss is usually fatal; Protein-energy malnutrition occurs as a result of a relative or absolute deficiency of energy and protein; It may be primary, due to inadequate food intake, or secondary, as a result of other illness; For most developing nations, primary protein-energy malnutrition remains among the most significant health problems; Protein-energy malnutrition has been described as two distinct syndromes: Kwashiorkor, caused by a deficiency of protein in the presence of adequate energy, is typically seen in weaning infants at the birth of a sibling in areas where foods containing protein are insufficiently abundant; Marasmus, caused by combined protein and energy deficiency, is most commonly seen where adequate quantities of food are not available; In industrialized societies, protein-energy malnutrition is most often secondary to other diseases; Kwashiorkor-like secondary protein-energy malnutrition occurs primarily in association with hypermetabolic acute illnesses such as trauma, burns, and sepsis; Marasmus-like secondary protein-energy malnutrition typically results from chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, cancer, or AIDS; These syndromes have been estimated to be present in at least 20% of hospitalized patients; A substantially greater number of patients have risk factors that could result in these syndromes;

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