Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Int Urol Nephrol. 2000;32(2):177-80.

Hyperkalemia in hospitalized patients.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine and Pharmacology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evaluate the prevalence of hyperkalemia (potassium > 5.5 mmol/l) in hospitalized patients not on dialysis, as well as the association of medications, impaired renal function and comorbid conditions with hyperkalemia.

DESIGN:

A retrospective case-control method.

SETTING:

A tertiary care teaching hospital.

PATIENTS:

Hyperkalemic adults not on dialysis with age and sex matched controls.

INTERVENTIONS:

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The use of medications associated with hyperkalemia and renal function using a calculated creatinine clearance were compared in the hyperkalemic and control groups.

RESULTS:

35 adult patients with hyperkalemia who were not receiving dialysis were identified, with a prevalence in the hospitalized population of 3.3%. The hyperkalemic patients were older than the general hospital population (p < 0.05). Compared with controls, hyperkalemic patients: had a lower creatinine clearance (p < 0.05), were more likely to be taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (p < 0.05), and had an increased frequency of diabetes mellitus (p < 0.001). All of the control patients survived their hospitalization, but the mortality rate in the hyperkalemic group was 17% (p < 0.0001). None of the deaths were directly attributable to hyperkalemia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hyperkalemia is more frequent in older patients and is usually mild. Hyperkalemia is associated with diabetes mellitus, diminished renal function and the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. An elevated serum potassium level in a hospitalized patient may be a marker for a significantly increased risk of death, which is due to underlying medical problems and is not a consequence of the hyperkalemia.

PMID:
11229629
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center