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Keywords:

  • Candida esophagitis;
  • elderly patients

SUMMARY.  Candida esophagitis in elderly patients is an entity that has not been investigated. We studied candida esophagitis in a population older than 65 years comparing them with an age and sex matched control sample. Diagnosis was made by histological identification of candida associated with inflammation from biopsy material taken during endoscopy. Fifty-six cases and 56 controls were analysed aiming to identify presentation, upper gastrointestinal pathologies associated with candida esophagitis, risk associations and to see whether it was a marker of poor outcome. Classical features clinically associated with esophageal disease were relatively uncommon: dysphagia 14%, oropharyngeal candidiasis 2%, dyspepsia 2%, while anaemia and loss of weight were the main indications for endoscopy (70%). No gastrointestinal pathologies were significantly associated with candida esophagitis. Malignancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and antibiotic use were significantly associated, while there was no association between candida esophagitis and diabetes mellitus, stroke disease or dementia. Survival was significantly less in those with candida esophagitis with a mortality at 6 months of 47% compared to 5% in controls and a 1 year survival of 38% compared to 93% in the control sample. This was independent of disability measured by the modified Rankin scale and patients’ residence.