Active management of hyponatraemia and mortality in older hospitalised patients compared with younger patients: results of a prospective cohort study

Link to article at PubMed

Age Ageing. 2020 Dec 23:afaa248. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afaa248. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Hyponatraemia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality; the aetiology and outcomes of hyponatraemia in older patients have not been defined in prospective studies.

METHODS: A single-centre 9-month prospective observational study in which clinical outcomes in hospitalised patients ≥ 65 years (older patients with hyponatraemia (OP-HN)) and those <65 years (young patients with hyponatraemia (YP-HN)) with hyponatraemia were analysed, and compared with eunatraemic controls (older patients with normonatraemia (OP-NN) and young patients with normonatraemia (YP-NN)).

RESULTS: In total, 1,321 episodes of hyponatraemia in 1,086 patients were included; 437 YP-HN, median age 54 years (IQR 44,60) and 884 OP-HN, median age 77 years (IQR 71,82). A total of 1,120 consecutive eunatraemic control patients were simultaneously recruited; 690 OP-NN, median age 77 years (IQR 71,83) and 430 YP-NN, median age 52 years (IQR 41,58). Euvolaemic hyponatraemia was the commonest cause of hyponatraemia in both age groups (48% in YP-HN and 46% in OP-HN). Sixty-two percent of OP-HN received hyponatraemia-directed treatment within the initial 48 h, compared with 55% of YP-HN, P = 0.01. Despite the greater treatment rates in OP-HN, younger patients were 24% more likely to be discharged with normal plasma sodium concentration (pNa) compared with older patients, relative risk (RR) 1.24 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12-1.37), P < 0.001.Using OP-NN as the reference group, the RR of in-hospital death in OP-HN was 2.15 (95% CI 1.3-3.56), P = 0.002. Using YP-NN as the reference group, the RR of in-hospital death in YP-HN was 4.34 (95% CI 1.98-9.56), P < 0.001.

CONCLUSION: Despite greater rates of HN-targeted treatment, the risk of in-hospital death is increased in older hyponatraemic patients compared with older eunatraemic controls. The impact of hyponatraemia on mortality is even greater in younger patients.

PMID:33367538 | DOI:10.1093/ageing/afaa248

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