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Aging Effect on Laboratory Values

Organ function declines with age and is correlated with changes in laboratory values. Understanding the effect of age on laboratory values can increase diagnostic accuracy.If age related changes are not recognized, clinically significant changes in lab results may be incorrectly attributed to age alone and changes that are normal with aging may be misinterpreted as signs of disease.The following bullet points and table summarize age related changes.

  • Alkaline a phosphatase increases by 20% between the third & eighth decade.
  • ANA & rheumatoid factor are present in 20 – 30% of seniors in low titers & shouldn’t be over interpreted.
  • Cholesterol increases by 30-40 mg/dL by age 60.
  • Creatinine clearance decreases by 10 mL/min/1.73 m2 per decade. Serum creatinine may not c

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