Hyperkalemia and renin-angiotensin aldosterone system inhibitor therapy in chronic kidney disease: A general practice-based, observational study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2019, 14 (3)
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© 2019 Jun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data on hyperkalemia frequency among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients receiving renin-angiotensin aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASis) and its impact on subsequent RAASi treatment are limited. This population-based cohort study sought to assess the incidence of clinically significant hyperkalemia among adult CKD patients who were prescribed a RAASi and the proportion of patients with RAASi medication change after experiencing incident hyperkalemia. We conducted a retrospective, population-based cohort study (1 January 2013–30 June 2017) using Australian national general practice data from the NPS MedicineWise’s MedicineInsight program. The study included adults aged 18 years who received 1 RAASi prescription during the study period and had CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <60 ml/min/1.73m 2 ). Study outcomes included incident clinically significant hyperkalemia (serum potassium >6 mmol/L or a record of hyperkalemia diagnosis) and among patients who experienced incident hyperkalemia, the proportion who had RAASi medication changes (cessation or dose reduction during the 210-day period after the incident hyperkalemia event). Among 20,184 CKD patients with a median follow-up of 3.9 years, 1,992 (9.9%) patients experienced an episode of hyperkalemia. The overall incidence rate was 3.1 (95% CI: 2.9–3.2) per 100 person-years. Rates progressively increased with worsening eGFR (e.g. 3.5-fold increase in patients with eGFR <15 vs. 45–59 ml/min/ 1.73m 2 ). Among patients who experienced incident hyperkalemia, 46.6% had changes made to their RAASi treatment regimen following the first occurrence of hyperkalemia (discontinuation: 36.6% and dose reduction: 10.0%). In this analysis of adult RAASi users with CKD, hyperkalemia and subsequent RAASi treatment changes were common. Further assessment of strategies for hyperkalemia management and optimal RAASi use among people with CKD are warranted.
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