Anthropological Review (Sep 2016)

Effects of aging on the function of the urinary system: longitudinal changes with age in selected urine parameters in a hospitalized population of older adults

  • Chmielewski Piotr,
  • Strzelec Bartłomiej,
  • Borysławski Krzysztof,
  • Chmielowiec Krzysztof,
  • Chmielowiec Jolanta,
  • Dąbrowski Paweł

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 79, no. 3
pp. 331 – 345


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Although normal aging does not have a pernicious effect on the homeostasis of fluids, renal reserve in elderly people can be depleted. The purpose of the present study was to assess the relationship between longitudinal changes with age in basic urine parameters (specific gravity and pH) in older men and women, depending on their body height and relative body weight. Longitudinal data on these two quantitative traits of the urine were available for 142 physically healthy individuals, including 68 men and 74 women. All subjects were 45 years of age at the beginning and 70 at the end of the period under investigation. All measurements were taken in accordance with internationally accepted requirements. Specific gravity was assessed using a hydrometer, and pH was measured using a pH meter. ANOVA, t-test, and regression analysis were performed. No significant sex differences in specific gravity or urine pH were observed. In both sexes, urine specific gravity decreased with age according to exponential model of regression. In men, there was a gradual increase in the pH of the urine until age 65, and the best fitting regression model was polynomial. In women, on the other hand, there was an exiguous decrease in urine pH throughout the period under study, and the best fitting regression model proved to be exponential. As the process of renal aging commences relatively early in ontogeny and manifests itself in many structural and functional changes, urinalysis and other more sophisticated methods of diagnosis of renal diseases are essential for proper assessment of health status of adults and older individuals. The rate of age-related changes in the analyzed traits of the urine was commensurate in both sexes, thereby revealing no evidence of significant sex differences in terms of renal aging in the period between 45 and 70 years of age.