Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risks from low potassium in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease

Date:
February 23, 2010
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
New research finds that low potassium levels produce an increased risk of death or hospitalization in patients with heart failure and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Researchers say that even a mild decrease in serum potassium level increased the risk of death in this patient group.

New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) says low potassium levels produce an increased risk of death or hospitalization in patients with heart failure and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

In findings reported in January in Circulation: Heart Failure, a journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers say that even a mild decrease in serum potassium level increased the risk of death in this patient group.

"Hypokalemia, or low potassium, is common in heart-failure patients and is associated with poor outcomes, as is chronic kidney disease," said C. Barrett Bowling, M.D., a fellow in the UAB Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care. "But little is known about the prevalence and effect of hypokalemia in heart-failure patients who also have CKD."

Bowling, a graduate of the UAB Internal Medicine residency program, said these findings indicate that in patients with heart failure and CKD the serum potassium levels should be monitored routinely and carefully maintained within a safe range.

The UAB researchers studied data from 1,044 patients with heart failure and CKD in the Digitalis Investigation Group study, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health. Normal potassium levels were expressed at between 4 and 4.9 mEq/L. Mild hypokalemia was defined as between 3.5 to 3.9 mEq/L and low hypokalemia as below 3.5 mEq/L.

Death occurred in 48 percent of the patients with hypokalemia during the 57-month follow-up period, compared with only 36 percent of patients with normal potassium. The vast majority of subjects, 87 percent, had mild hypokalemia. Hospitalization also was slightly higher for subjects with low potassium, 59 percent compared with 53 percent for those with normal potassium levels.

"It has long been considered that high potassium levels were more common in heart-failure patients with CKD," said Ali Ahmed, M.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of medicine in the Divisions of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and Cardiovascular Disease. "Our findings indicate that low potassium may be even more common in these patients, and clinicians need to be aware of the risks associated with even mildly low potassium levels and monitor and treat their patients accordingly."

Others from UAB involved in the study are Mustafa I. Ahmed, M.D.; Inmaculada B. Aban, Ph.D.; Paul W. Sanders, M.D.; Marjan Mujib, BS, MPH; Ruth C. Campbell, M.D.; and Richard M. Allman, M.D. Also involved are Bertram Pitt, M.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; Thomas E. Love, Ph.D., Case Western University; Wilbert S. Aronow, M.D., New York Medical College; and George L. Bakris, M.D., University of Chicago.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Risks from low potassium in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209123812.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2010, February 23). Risks from low potassium in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209123812.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Risks from low potassium in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209123812.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins