Real-world epidemiology of potassium derangements among chronic cardiovascular, metabolic and renal conditions: A population-based analysis

Santiago Jiménez-Marrero, Miguel Cainzos-Achirica, David Monterde, Luis Garcia-Eroles, Cristina Enjuanes, Sergi Yun, Alberto Garay, Pedro Moliner, Lidia Alcoberro, Xavier Corbella, Josep Comin-Colet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The aims of the present analysis are to estimate the prevalence of five key chronic cardiovascular, metabolic and renal conditions at the population level, the prevalence of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor (RAASI) medication use and the magnitude of potassium (K +) derangements among RAASI users.

Methods and Results: We used data from more than 375,000 individuals, 55 years of age or older, included in the population-based healthcare database of the Catalan Institute of Health between 2015 and 2017. The conditions of interest were chronic heart failure (CHF), chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease and hypertension. RAASI medications included angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs) and renin inhibitors. Hyperkalemia was defined as K + levels >5.0 mEq/L and hypokalemia as K + <3.5 mEq/L. The prevalence of chronic cardiovascular, metabolic and renal conditions was high, and particularly that of hypertension (prevalence ranging from 48.2% to 48.9%). The use of at least one RAASI medication was almost ubiquitous in these patients (75.2-77.3%). Among RAASI users, the frequency of K + derangements, mainly of hyperkalemia, was very noticeable (12% overall), particularly in patients with CKD or CHF, elderly individuals and users of MRAs. Hypokalemia was less frequent (1%).

Conclusion: The high prevalence of K + derangements, and particularly hyperkalemia, among RAASI users highlights the real-world relevance of K + derangements, and the importance of close monitoring and management of K + levels in routine clinical practice. This is likely to benefit a large number of patients, particularly those at higher risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-952
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Epidemiology
StatePublished - 2020


  • Chronic heart failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypertension
  • Potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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