Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Unintentional weight loss

Investigation of unintentional weight loss

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 10 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2737
  1. Jonathan Tyrrell-Price, specialist registrar, gastroenterology1,
  2. Anwen Hills, foundation year 1 trainee1,
  3. Alison Varey, foundation year 1 trainee 1
  1. 1Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hospital, London W2 1NY, UK
  1. j.tyrrell-price{at}

McMinn and colleagues suggest history, examination, chest radiography, and faecal occult blood testing for initial investigation of unintentional weight loss in elderly patients.1 Given that 13% of this population will have gastrointestinal cancer,1 the sensitivity of anaemia, C reactive protein, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate in this population would be helpful.

We performed 116 oesophagogastroduodenoscopies for indications including weight loss, 58 for isolated weight loss. …

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