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Common Blood Tests for Senior Citizens

written by: Elizabeth Engel•edited by: Emma Lloyd•updated: 4/25/2011

Common blood tests for senior citizens can detect diabetes heart, liver, and kidney diseases. In this article you will learn about the different tests used to detect diseases that are common to develop in senior citizens.

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    The blood tests ordered for senior citizens may be different than blood tests ordered for a person younger in age. As a person ages, one may become more at risk for certain disorders and diseases. This article will outline the common blood tests for senior citizens.

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    Drawing Blood for Tests

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    Blood Tests for Diabetes

    In order for this blood test to be performed, the patient must fast (no eating) 12 or more hours before the test. The fasting glucose test provides the true glucose levels in the blood. A normal glucose level is 110 mg/dl, borderline reads 110 to 126 mg/dl, and a high glucose level is anything that reads higher than 126 mg/dl.

    Senior citizens that are at risk or have a history of diabetes need to be screened twice a year. Seniors that are not considered to be at risk can be tested once a year.

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    Blood Tests for Liver Diseases

    The common blood tests for senior citizens that are used to detect liver diseases include a SGOT (AST), SGPT (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase. These blood tests can help detect cancer in the liver, gallbladder disease, and infections such as viral hepatitis or mononucleosis.

    Prior to the blood tests, the doctor my ask for the patient to avoid taking certain medications that could interfere with the test results. Be sure to give provide the physician with a lost of medications the patient is taking. Also, patients may be asked to fast the night before the test is done to make sure that the protein levels detected are accurate. A normal reading for these tests is 0 to 35 units per liter.

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    Blood Tests for Heart Diseases

    A total cholesterol and triglycerides test will be performed to check the patient for any type of heart disease. An increased level of cholesterol puts the patient at a higher risk of developing heart disease, if not already present.

    When preparing for the test, the patient most avoid eating fatty foods or drinking alcohol for 24 hours prior to testing. Certain medications may need to be avoided be fore testing. Provide a list of medications the patient may be taking to the physician.

    If the patients levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are high, the doctor may perform additional testing to check for heart disease. The doctor will also put the patient on a special diet to help reduce these levels.

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    Blood Test for Kidney Diseases

    A physician will use test such as serum uric acid, serum creatinine, serum protein (globulin, A/G ratio), albumin to detect any type of kidney disease. The test can detect kidney infection, improper function, decreased blood flow to the kidneys, and even heart failure.

    The patient will be asked to fast 8 hours before the test is performed. The patient will need to provide a list of medications to the physician to be sure they will not affect the outcome of the tests. If the test results provide that the levels are not normal, the doctor may do additional testing to pinpoint the cause.

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    Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre: Senior Citizen Health Check -

    Diagnosing Diabetes: Diabetes Blood Tests -

    IHA: Blood Tests -