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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Chronic Kidney Disease. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Effects of Age on GFR

Beyond age-related changes in muscle mass that affect creatinine generation, kidney function has long been recognized to decrease with age (e.g., Lewis, 1938; Davies, 1950). The cause of age-related decreases in GFR is only partially understood; evidence suggests that anatomical and physiological changes due to generalized organ senescence may play a role (Glassock, 2012).
GFR decreases approximately 8 mL/min/1.73 m2 for every decade of life (Poggio, 2009). This decline can complicate assessment for CKD, as many indicators for this disease are based on assumptions of what values are normal. In the case of an elderly person, normal values for that population may be considered "abnormal", leading to improper diagnosis, patient anxiety and additional clinical testing that may not be necessary (Delanaye, 2012).