Serum potassium variability is associated with increased mortality in a large cohort of hospitalized patients

Link to article at PubMed

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2021 Jul 7:gfab211. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfab211. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Few studies have examined the role of serum potassium concentrations [K+] variability on clinical outcomes is still poorly investigated. Aim of our study was to analyze the association between serum potassium concentrations ([K+]) disorders, with focus on [K+] variability, and mortality in a large, unselected cohort of hospitalized patients.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective observational cohort study on the inpatient population admitted to Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014 with inclusion of adult patients with [K+] measurements ≥2. The outcome of interest was in-hospital mortality. The exposures of interest were [K+] fluctuations and hypo-hyperkalemia and mixed dyskalemia during hospital stay. [K+] variability was evaluated using the coefficient of variation (CV). Logistic regression models were fitted to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between the exposures of interest and in-hospital death.

RESULTS: Overall, 64,507 patients met our inclusion criteria. During a median follow-up of 8 days, 965 patients (1.5%) died. Multivariable adjusted logistic models suggested a higher risk for death in patients in the 3rd (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.13, 1.88, p = 0.003) and 4th (OR 3.30, 95% CI 2.64, 4.16, p < 0.001) highest quartiles of [K+] CV compared with those in the lowest quartile with a significant linear trend across quartiles (p-trend <0.001) Results did not change after restricting the analyses to patients with normokaliemia (NK). All [K+] disorders were independently associated with an increased risk of in-hospital death compared with NK.

CONCLUSIONS: High [K+] variability is an independent risk factor of in-hospital mortality, even within the normal [K+] range.

PMID:34240191 | DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfab211

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