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Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2018;31(3):155-162. doi: 10.1159/000487403. Epub 2018 Apr 3.

Effect of Fluid Intake on Hydration Status and Skin Barrier Characteristics in Geriatric Patients: An Explorative Study.

Author information

1
Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
2
German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE) Department of Epidemiology, Berlin, Germany.
3
Evangelic Geriatric Center, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIM:

Inadequate fluid intake is assumed to be a trigger of water-loss dehydration, which is a major health risk in aged and geriatric populations. Thus, there is a need to search for easy to use diagnostic tests to identify dehydration. Our overall aim was to investigate whether skin barrier parameters could be used for predicting fluid intake and/or hydration status in geriatric patients.

METHODS:

An explorative observational comparative study was conducted in a geriatric hospital including patients aged 65 years and older. We measured 3-day fluid intake, skin barrier parameters, Overall Dry Skin Score, serum osmolality, cognitive and functional health, and medications.

RESULTS:

Forty patients were included (mean age 78.45 years and 65% women) with a mean fluid intake of 1,747 mL/day. 20% of the patients were dehydrated and 22.5% had an impending dehydration according to serum osmolality. Multivariate analysis suggested that skin surface pH and epidermal hydration at the face were associated with fluid intake. Serum osmolality was associated with epidermal hydration at the leg and skin surface pH at the face. Fluid intake was not correlated with serum osmolality. Diuretics were associated with high serum osmolality.

CONCLUSIONS:

Approximately half of the patients were diagnosed as being dehydrated according to osmolality, which is the current reference standard. However, there was no association with fluid intake, questioning the clinical relevance of this measure. Results indicate that single skin barrier parameters are poor markers for fluid intake or osmolality. Epidermal hydration might play a role but most probably in combination with other tests.

KEYWORDS:

Dehydration; Drinking; Geriatrics; Skin physiology; Transepidermal water loss; pH

PMID:
29614497
DOI:
10.1159/000487403
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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