Hyperkalemia in Real-World Patients Under Continuous Medical Care in Japan

Naoki Kashihara, Shun Kohsaka, Eiichiro Kanda, Suguru Okami, Toshitaka Yajima

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: An abnormal serum potassium (S-K) level is an important electrolyte disturbance. However, its relation to clinical outcomes in real-world patients, particularly hyperkalemia burden, is not extensively studied. Methods: An observational retrospective cohort study using a Japanese hospital claims database was done (April 2008–September 2017; N = 1,022,087). Associations between index S-K level and 3-year survival were modeled using cubic spline regression. Cox regression model was applied to estimate the time to death according to different S-K levels. Prevalence, patient characteristics, treatment patterns, and management of patients with hyperkalemia from first episode were assessed. Results: Hyperkalemia prevalence was 67.9 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 67.1–68.8) per 1000 and increased in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) (227.9; 95% CI: 224.3–231.5), heart failure (134.0; 95% CI: 131.2–136.8), and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor (RAASi) use (142.2; 95% CI: 139.6–144.7). U-shaped associations between S-K level and 3-year survival were observed with nadir 4.0 mEq/l. The risk of death was increased at S-K 5.1–5.4 mEq with hazard ratio of 7.6 (95% CI: 7.2–8.0). The 3-year mortality rate in patients with CKD stages 3a, 3b, 4, and 5 with normokalemia were 1.51%, 3.93%, 10.86%, and 12.09%, whereas that in patients with CKD stage 3a at S-K 5.1–5.4, 5.5–5.9, and ≥6.0 mEq/l increased to 10.31%, 11.43%, and 22.64%, respectively. Despite treatment with loop diuretics (18.5%) and potassium binders (5.8%), >30% of patients had persistently high S-K (≥5.1 mEq/l). Conclusion: This study provides real-world insight on hyperkalemia based on a large number of patients with various medical backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1260
Number of pages13
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept


  • chronic kidney disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • hyperkalemia
  • renin angiotensin system
  • renin-angiotensin-aldosterone inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Nephrology


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