Diuretics, first-line antihypertensive agents: are they always safe in the elderly?
Rom J Intern Med. 2014 Apr-Jun;52(2):87-90
Authors: Diaconu CC, Balaceanu A, Bartos D
INTRODUCTION: Diuretics are frequently recommended as antihypertensive agents. Some of the main side effects of diuretic therapy are hypokalaemia and hyponatremia. The objective of the study was to describe the frequency of hyponatremia in a group of elderly hypertensive patients treated with diuretics.
METHOD: The study included 202 elderly hypertensive patients (over 65 years old), treated with diuretics at least 4 weeks before hospitalization, consecutivly admitted in the Internal Medicine Clinic of the Clinical Emergency Hospital of Bucharest during a period of 4 months.
RESULTS: The distribution by sex: 103 (52.28%) men and 94 (47.71%) women. The mean age of the patients was 72 ± 8 years. Incidence of hyponatremia was 24.87% (49 patients) in the whole group. From the 49 hyponatremic patients, 31 (63.26%) were women and 18 (36.73%) men. The distribution by age of hypertensive hyponatremic female patients was: between 65-70 years old--4 patients (12.90%), between 70-75 years old--7 patients (22.58%), over 75 years old--20 patients (64.51%). The distribution by age of hypertensive hyponatremic male patients was: between 65-70 years old--3 patients (16.66%), between 70-75 years old--2 patients(11.11%), over 75 years old--13 patients (72.22%). Most of the patients affected (73.46%) used a thiazide-type diuretic, the other 26.54% being on loop diuretics.
CONCLUSIONS: Elderly hypertensive patients were more likely to develop hyponatremia after age 75. Female patients had a higher frequency of hyponatremia than male patients. The main cause of hyponatremia in patients treated with diuretics was thiazide.
PMID: 25338344 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]