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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2010, Article ID 380892, 6 pages
Research Article

The Causes of Acute Fever Requiring Hospitalization in Geriatric Patients: Comparison of Infectious and NoninfectiousEtiology

1Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, PB 34390, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
2Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, PB 34390, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

Received 26 December 2009; Revised 9 April 2010; Accepted 6 July 2010

Academic Editor: Craig Atwood

Copyright © 2010 A. Atahan Cagatay et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Infectious diseases may present with atypical presentations in the geriatric patients. While fever is an important finding of infections, it may also be a sign of noninfectious etiology. Methods. Geriatric patients who were hospitalized for acute fever in our infectious diseases unit were included. Acute fever was defined as presentation within the first week of fever above 3 7 . 3 C . Results. 185 patients were included (82 males and 103 females). Mean age was 6 9 . 7 ± 7 . 5 years. The cause of fever was an infectious disease in 135 and noninfectious disease in 32 and unknown in 18 of the patients. The most common infectious etiologies were respiratory tract infections ( 𝑛 = 4 6 ), urinary tract infections ( 𝑛 = 2 6 ), and skin and soft tissue infections ( 𝑛 = 2 3 ). Noninfectious causes of fever were rheumatic diseases ( 𝑛 = 8 ), solid tumors ( 𝑛 = 7 ), hematological diseases ( 𝑛 = 1 0 ), and vasculitis ( 𝑛 = 7 ). A noninfectious cause of fever was present in one patient with no underlying diseases and in 31 of 130 patients with underlying diseases. Conclusion. Geriatric patients with no underlying diseases generally had infectious causes of fever while noninfectious causes were responsible from fever in an important proportion of patients with underlying diseases.