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QUESTION: In patients admitted to hospital with unexplained weight loss (≥5% of usual body weight), what are the relative frequencies of different causes?
Cohort study with a mean follow up of 22 months.
A secondary referral centre in Lüneburg County, Germany.
158 patients who were ≥18 years of age (mean age 68 y, 56% women) and had a weight loss of ≥5% of usual body weight ≤6 months before being admitted to hospital. Exclusion criteria were weight loss from a known cause or voluntary weight loss. Follow up was complete.
A 2 step diagnostic procedure was followed. While in the hospital, all patients received the first step: history and …