Potassium level abnormalities are common in patients with CKD yet the association between potassium levels and mortality has not been described. I believe this is a novel and well conducted study presented in the poster session on Thursday. Almost 100, 000 CKD stages 3-5 (pre dialysis) were included in the study lead by Dr Allan Collins. Resarchers found that potassium levels below 4.1 mEq/L and above 5 mEq/L were associated with higher mortality rates and many of these subjects were within “normal” potassium range (3.7-5.2 mEq/L). In addition authors calculated the number needed to treat in order to prevent one death (comparing potassium of 5.5 to 4.4 mEq/ L) was only 21. The mortality trend with respect to potassium levels was higher as CKD advanced. Whether treatment to target more narrow potassium levels may have an impact on outcomes in CKD patients remains unknown but clearly opens the opportunity for future interventional trials.
Post by Dr. Magdalena Madero, eAJKD Contributor.