Cholinesterase inhibitors may lead to weight loss in elderly adults with dementia
Participants taking cholinesterase inhibitors had a higher risk of weight loss than controls.
HealthDay News — Seniors with dementia newly prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors are at risk for significant weight loss, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Meera Sheffrin, MD, from University of California at San Francisco, and colleagues utilized National Veterans Affairs data (2007 to 2010) to compare weight loss in 1,188 individuals (≥65 years) with dementia newly prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors and 2,189 propensity-matched individuals newly prescribed other chronic medications.
The researchers found that participants initiated on cholinesterase inhibitors had a higher risk of weight loss than matched controls at 12 months (29.3% of those taking cholinesterase inhibitors versus 22.8% nonusers; hazard ratio, 1.23). The number needed to harm was 21.2 over one year. Within subgroups there were no significant differences in the risk of weight loss.
"Clinicians should consider the risk of weight loss when prescribing cholinesterase inhibitors," the authors write.