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Is kidney function affected by age?

Yes. The amount of blood flow through the kidney and ability of the kidney to filter blood is about half that of younger ages. This is caused by the age-related structural and anatomic changes within the kidney. Some studies show that as much as one-third of older adults have no change in their urine creatinine (creatinine clearance is a measure of how well the kidney is able to filter the blood, the glomerular filtration rate or GFR). However other studies show decline that begins at 40 years. Age-related kidney changes create more risks for fluid and electrolyte imbalance and renal damage from medications or diagnostic contrast materials. Disease, surgery, or fever may stress and interfere with the kidney's ability to regulate and excrete fluids and electrolytes particularly in older adults.




Linda Breytspraak, Center on Aging Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City







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