Thursday, 4 March 2010

Reference Ranges

What is normal? What is healthy? When it comes to test results (such as electrolytes, glucose levels) normals means within a certain range. Normals is above the first 2.5% of the lower range and lower then the highest 2.5%. This means they include 95% of values from a healthy reference population.

Subsequently there is a chance that what could be normal for one person is marked up as abnormals - it is outside a certain range. And vice versa - what is abnormal for one person could be within the reference range

Which one should be worry about more? (based on these results, yes I know you would take a full history but its just to illustrate a point)

1) A fit guy in his early forties with a creatinine count of 135 in 200 and 132 in 2009
2) A little old lady with hypertension and diabetes whose cretinine levels was 68 in 2008 and 98 eighteen months later?
(normal range, 60-120 umol/L)

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