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Electrolyte and salt disturbances in older people: causes, management and implications

  • Roy L Soiza (a1), Graeme E Hoyle (a1) and Melvin PW Chua (a1)

Salt and electrolyte disturbances are commonly encountered in older patients. A sound understanding of the underlying physiological and pathological mechanisms underpinning the predisposition of older people to the common electrolyte imbalances can help clinicians minimize their considerable associated morbidity and mortality. This review focuses on the more common and clinically relevant salt and electrolyte disorders of older people. The epidemiology, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of hyponatraemia, hypernatraemia, hyperkalaemia, hypokalaemia and calcium and phosphate imbalance in old age are covered from a clinician's perspective.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: RL Soiza, Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Woodend Hospital, Eday Road, Aberdeen AB15 6XS, UK. Email:
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