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Association of dyskalemias with short-term health care utilization in patients with advanced CKD


BACKGROUND: Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at high risk for dyskalemias, which may induce arrhythmias that require immediate emergent or hospital care. The association of dyskalemias with short-term hospital/emergency room (ER) visits in advanced CKD is understudied. OBJECTIVE: To assess the association of dyskalemias with short-term hospital/ER visits in an advanced CKD population. METHODS: From among 102,477 US veterans transitioning to dialysis from 2007 to 2015, we identified 21,366 patients with 2 predialysis outpatient eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73m2 90-365 days apart (with the second eGFR serving as the index date) and at least 1 potassium (K) in the baseline period (1 year before index) and 1 outpatient K (oK) in the follow-up (1 year after the index but before dialysis initiation). We examined the association of time-varying hypokalemia (K < 3.5 mEq/L) and hyperkalemia (K > 5.5 mEq/L) vs referent (3.5-5.5 mEq/L) with separate hospital and ER visits within 2 calendar days following each oK value over the 1-year follow-up period from the index. We used generalized estimating equations with binary distribution and logit link to model the exposure-outcome relationship adjusted for various confounders. We conducted various subgroup and sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our results. RESULTS: Over the 1-year follow-up, 125,266 oK measurements were observed, of which 6.8% and 3.7% were classified as hyper- and hypokalemia, respectively. In the multivariable-adjusted model, hyperkalemia (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.04; 95% CI = 1.88-2.21) and hypokalemia (aOR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.48-1.86) were associated with significantly higher odds of hospital visits. Similarly, hyperkalemia (aOR = 1.83; 95% CI = 1.65-2.03) and hypokalemia (aOR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.07-1.44) were associated with significantly higher odds of ER visits. Results were robust to subgroups and sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with advanced CKD, dyskalemias are associated with higher risk of hospital/ER visits. Interventions targeted at lowering the risk of dyskalemias might help in reducing the health care utilization and associated economic burden among patients with advanced CKD experiencing dyskalemias. DISCLOSURES: This study was supported by grant 5U01DK102163 from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh and Csaba P. Kovesdy and by resources from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The data reported here have been supplied in part by the United States Renal Data System (USRDS). Support for VA/CMS data were provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Health Services Research and Development, VA Information Resource Center (project numbers SDR 02-237 and 98-004). Opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the funding institution. Kovesdy has received honoraria from Akebia, Ardelyx, Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Cara Therapeutics, Reata, and Tricida unrelated to this study. Kalantar-Zadeh has received honoraria and/or support from Abbott, Abbvie, ACI Clinical (Cara Therapeutics), Akebia, Alexion, Amgen, American Society of Nephrology, Astra-Zeneca, Aveo, BBraun, Chugai, Cytokinetics, Daiichi, DaVita, Fresenius, Genentech, Haymarket Media, Hofstra Medical School, International Federation of Kidney Foundations, International Society of Hemodialysis, International Society of Renal Nutrition & Metabolism, Japanese Society of Dialysis Therapy, Hospira, Kabi, Keryx, Kissei, Novartis, OPKO, National Institutes of Health, National Kidney Foundations, Pfizer, Regulus, Relypsa, Resverlogix, Dr Schaer, Sandoz, Sanofi, Shire, Veterans Affairs, Vifor, UpToDate, and ZS-Pharma, unrelated to this study. Gatwood has received research support from AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., and GlaxoSmithKline unrelated to this study. Obi has received research support from Relypsa/Vifor Pharma Inc. The remaining authors declare that they have no relevant financial interests.

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