Generally healthy older individuals with normal or high bicarbonate levels in the blood had a similar risk of dying during follow-up, but patients with low bicarbonate had a 24% increased risk compared with these groups.
Low blood levels of bicarbonate may indicate an elevated risk of premature death in generally healthy older individuals, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The findings suggest that the blood marker is an important health indicator and that future studies should examine the potential of increasing bicarbonate levels to prolong life.
The findings suggest that blood bicarbonate concentrations, which are commonly measured, may help clinicians identify people at elevated risk of premature death. In people with low bicarbonate levels, some may benefit from increasing intake of foods that produce bicarbonate in the body, such as fruits and vegetables.
Low Blood Levels of Bicarbonate Linked to Earlier Death in Healthy Older Adults