Hypercalcemia and Calcium Metabolism in the Elderly

  • Timothy B. Seaton
  • Charmain Cohen
Part of the Contemporary Geriatric Medicine book series (COGM, volume 3)


Hypercalcemia in an elderly patient can be a challenging diagnostic problem. Hyperparathyroidism and malignancy account for 95% of the cases of hypercalcemia.1 Hyperparathyroidism is especially common in asymptomatic patients discovered to be hypercalcemic on biologic screening. In hospitalized patients malignancy is probably the most frequent cause of hypercalcemia. Assays for parathyroid hormone have improved over the last several years, and the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism is easier to confirm than has been possible previously. Primary hyperparathyroidism also coexists with malignancy, and this possibility should always be considered. Other causes of hypercalcemia include sarcoidosis, vitamin D intoxication, thyrotoxicosis, immobilization, and hypocalciuric hypercalcemia. Even mild hypercalcemia may be a clue to a serious underlying disease so that definitive evaluation is usually warranted.


Serum Calcium Primary Hyperparathyroidism Calcium Metabolism Urinary Calcium Excretion Calcium Reabsorption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy B. Seaton
    • 1
  • Charmain Cohen
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Rachmiel Levine Diabetes Center, Department of MedicineNew York Medical College; and Westchester County Medical CenterValhallaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of MedicineNew York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA

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