Hyperthermia and hypothermia in the elderly

Clin Geriatr Med. 1994 Feb;10(1):213-29.


Elderly populations are prone to both hyperthermia and hypothermia because of innate physiologic changes associated with aging, the presence of chronic disease, and the use of polypharmacy. Hyperthermia is a true medical emergency with a high mortality rate, requiring rapid cooling and aggressive supportive care. Hypothermia is a common finding in elderly persons. Patients should be warmed in the least aggressive manner that will adequately treat their clinical situation. Hypothermia due to underlying disease carries a high mortality rate, as does the onset of ventricular fibrillation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Fever / diagnosis
  • Fever / physiopathology
  • Fever / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / diagnosis
  • Hypothermia / physiopathology
  • Hypothermia / therapy*
  • Syndrome