The presence of hyperkalemia (HK) in patients with heart failure (HF)or chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases the risk of death. The aims of the present study have been: i) to evaluate if the risk of cardiovascular (CV) events and mortality increases in two cohorts of patients with heart failure (HF) or chronic kidney disease (CKD) affected by hyperkalemia (HK) and treated with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi). We have also evaluated the risk of dialysis among CKD patients; ii) to provide an estimate of the increased risk of CV events and mortality caused among HK patients by a non-optimal adherence to RAASi therapy in both HF and CKD cohorts.
This is a retrospective study, based on the administrative databases of five Italian Local Health Units. All patients ≥18-year-old discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of HF (ICD-9-CM 428) or CKD (ICD-9-CM585) between January 2010 and December 2017 were enrolled. We defined as index date (ID) the date of first diagnosis during the enrolment period. Only patients that were prescribed RAASi therapy during the first three months after the ID were considered. Serum potassium level was tested in the three months before and after ID. The patients were considered as having HK if they presented a serum potassium level ≥5.5 mmol/l. Results show that patients with HK treated with RAASi were respectively 46% (HF) and 31% (CKD) more at risk of CV events and 88% (HF) and 72% (CKD) more at risk of dying. Moreover, the risk of dialysis in CKD patients increased by 458%. After the onset of HK, non-optimal adherence to RAASi in patients with HK was found to increase notably the risk of CV events (65% HF, 34% CKD) and mortality (127% HF, 122% CKD) in both cohorts.
Keywords: hyperkalemia, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, drugs for hyperkalemia, real-world study