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Fatigue: Implications for the Elderly

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Abstract:

Sporadic and chronic fatigue are common, but an underlying etiology is identified in only up to 10% of cases. Under-reporting makes fatigue's prevalence unknown. Some estimate up to 50% of elders suffer from mild fatigue. Causes vary, but prevailing theory links most fatigue as a secondary consequence to illness and medication. Fatigue is prominently linked to sleep disorders, depression, heart disease, Parkinson's disease, anemia, and cancer. Fatigue and its consequences should be assessed routinely. Empiric treatment is the norm, focusing on managing fatigue, and, when possible, selecting agents with fewer side effects. Exercise, diet, and promoting good sleep hygiene have beneficial effects in symptom management.

Abbreviations: ACE = Angiotensin-converting enzyme, CBT = Cognitivebehavioral therapy, CFS = Chronic fatigue syndrome, HF = Heart failure, NIH = National Institutes of Health, PD = Parkinson's disease.

Keywords: Chronic fatigue syndrome; Depression; Fatigue; Heart failure; Long-term care; Parkinson's disease

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4140/TCP.n.2007.566

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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