Klaus Roland Huber, Nazanin Mostafaie, Gerhard Stangl, Brigitte Worofka, Eva Kittl, Jörg Hofmann, Milos Hejtman, Rainer Michael, Silvia Weissgram, Thomas Leitha, Susanne Jungwirth, Peter Fischer, Karl-Heinz Tragl, Kurt Bauer
November 7, 2006
Background : Clinical chemistry reference values for elderly persons are sparse and mostly intermixed with those for younger subjects. To understand the links between metabolism and aging, it is paramount to differentiate between “normal” physiological processes in apparently healthy elderly subjects and metabolic changes due to long-lasting diseases. The Vienna Transdanube Aging (VITA) study, which began in 2000 and is continuing, will allow us to do just that, because more than 600 male and female volunteers aged exactly 75years (to exclude any influence of the “aging” factor in this cohort) are participating in this study. Methods : Extensive clinical, neurological, biochemical, psychological, genetic, and radiological analyses, with a special emphasis on consumption of medication and abuse of drugs, were performed on each of the probands. The multitude of data and questionnaires obtained made possible an a posteriori approach to select individuals fulfilling criteria for a reference sample group of apparently healthy 75-year-old subjects for our study. Specific analytes were quantified on automated clinical analyzers, while manual methods were used for hormonal analytes. All clinical chemistry analytes were evaluated using in-depth statistical analyses with SPSS for Windows. Results : In all, reference intervals for 45 analytes could be established. These include routine parameters for the assessment of organ functions, as well as hormone concentrations and hematological appraisals. Because all patients were reevaluated after exactly 30months in the course of this study, we had the opportunity to reassess their health status at the age of 77.5years. This was very useful for validation of the first round data set. Data of the second round evaluation corroborate the reference limits of the baseline analysis and further confirm our inclusion and exclusion criteria. Conclusions : In summary, we have established a reliable set of reference data for hormonal, hematological, and clinical chemistry analytes for elderly subjects. These values will be very useful for our future attempts to correlate disease states and aging processes with metabolic factors. Clin Chem Lab Med 2006;44:1355–60.