Serum albumin and health in older people: Review and meta analysis.


Albumin is the most abundant plasmatic protein. It is only produced by the liver and the full extent of its metabolic functions is not known in detail. One of the main roles assigned to albumin is as an indicator of malnutrition. There are many factors, in addition to nutrition, that influence levels of albumin in plasma. The main aim of this review is to assess the clinical significance of albumin in elderly people in the community, in hospital and in care homes. Following the review, it can be stated that age is not a cause of hypoalbuminemia. Albumin is a good marker of nutritional status in clinically stable people. Significant loss of muscle mass has been observed in elderly people with low albumin levels. Hypoalbuminemia is a mortality prognostic factor in elderly people, whether they live in the community or they are in hospital or institutionalized. Low levels of albumin are associated to worse recovery following acute pathologies. Inflammatory state and, particularly, high concentrations of IL-6 and TNF-alpha, are two of the main influencing factors of hypoalbuminemia. In elderly patients with a hip fracture, albumin levels below 38 g/L are associated to a higher risk of post-surgery complications, especially infections. Further research is needed on the impact of nutritional intervention upon albumin levels and on the outcomes in elderly people in the community, in hospital and in care.

DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.02.009
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@article{Cabrerizo2015SerumAA, title={Serum albumin and health in older people: Review and meta analysis.}, author={Sonia Cabrerizo and Daniel Cuadras and Fernando G{\'o}mez-Busto and I{\~n}aki Artaza-Artabe and Fernando Mar{\'i}n-Ciancas and Vincenzo Malafarina}, journal={Maturitas}, year={2015}, volume={81 1}, pages={17-27} }