The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 619–627 | Cite as

Dehydration in the elderly: A review focused on economic burden

  • M. Frangeskou
  • B. Lopez-Valcarcel
  • Lluis Serra-MajemEmail author



Dehydration is the most common fluid and electrolyte problem among elderly patients. It is reported to be widely prevalent and costly to individuals and to the health care system. The purpose of this review is to summarize the literature on the economic burden of dehydration in the elderly.


A comprehensive search of several databases from database inception to November 2013, only in English language, was conducted. The databases included Pubmed and ISI Web of Science. The search terms «dehydration» / “hyponaremia” / “hypernatremia” AND «cost» AND «elderly» were used to search for comparative studies of the economic burden of dehydration. A total of 15 papers were identified.


Dehydration in the elderly is an independent factor of higher health care expenditures. It is directly associated with an increase in hospital mortality, as well as with an increase in the utilization of ICU, short and long term care facilities, readmission rates and hospital resources, especially among those with moderate to severe hyponatremia.


Dehydration represents a potential target for intervention to reduce healthcare expenditures and improve patients’ quality of life.

Key words

Dehydration economic costs hospitalized patients elderly 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Frangeskou
    • 1
  • B. Lopez-Valcarcel
    • 2
  • Lluis Serra-Majem
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Institute of Biomedical and Health ScienciesUniversity of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Quantitative Methods in Economics and ManagementUniversity of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  3. 3.CIBERobn (Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y NutriciónInstitute of Health Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  4. 4.Research Institute of Biomedical and Health ScienciesUniversity of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain

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