Hematological and biochemical laboratory values in older Cardiovascular Health Study participants

J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Aug;43(8):855-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.1995.tb05526.x.


Objective: To define reference hematologic and biochemical lab values in older individuals.

Design: Randomly selected, age- and gender-stratified participants.

Setting: Visits by participants to four research clinics.

Patients: A total of 5201 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study, an observational study of older Medicare-eligible individuals living at home.

Measurement: Information about health status, previous illness, and medication use was obtained from participants and/or their MDs. This information was used to define a healthy subset of the population. Blood samples were obtained for Cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, fasting and 2-hour postload glucose and insulin, fibrinogen, factors VII and VIII, potassium, creatinine, albumin, uric acid, white blood count, hematocrit, hemoglobin, and platelet count.

Results: Significant differences were found for age group and/or gender for all mean values. Many tests were significantly different from the generally accepted reference ranges used in clinical laboratories.

Conclusions: In some situations accepted laboratory norms for the general population can not be extrapolated to older adults. There are implications for both research and clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • California
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maryland
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics