Medical Practice

Nephrotic Syndrome in the Elderly

Br Med J 1971; 2 doi: (Published 15 May 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;2:387
  1. I. W. Fawcett,
  2. P. J. Hilton,
  3. N. F. Jones,
  4. A. J. Wing


    Though the nephrotic syndrome is generally believed to be uncommon in the elderly, patients aged 60 years or more accounted for 25 out of 100 consecutive adult cases. Six (24%) of these had the minimal change lesion, compared with 16% of the younger adults. The incidence of membranous glomerulonephritis was similar in the two age groups, but proliferative glomerulonephritis was more common in the younger (29%) than in the older group (16%). Amyloidosis did not have a higher incidence in the higher age group. Five of the elderly patients with minimal change lesion were treated with prednisone—in four a complete remission from the nephrotic syndrome followed, while the fifth patient's course is unknown.

    These results suggest that, when the patient's other circumstances allow, the nephrotic syndrome in an elderly patient should be investigated and managed as in younger age groups.

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