Aging and risks for dehydration
Andrew J. Silver, MDAddress reprint requests to A.J.S., Division of Geriatrics, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, M-238, 1402 South Grand Boulevard, Saint Louis, Missouri 63104.
The elderly are at increased risk for dehydration and associated fluid and electrolyte imbalances. Changes in functional and mental status, medication effects, and changes in the aging renal system all may be factors. Furthermore, hypodipsia, or insensibility to thirst, may be a physiologic process of aging. These and other risk factors are presented, along with a guide to the management of dehydration in the elderly.