Prevalence and economic burden of hyperkalemia in the United States Medicare population
Current Medical Research and Opinion
To estimate the prevalence and economic burden of hyperkalemia in the United States (US) Medicare population.
Patients were selected from a 5% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries (01 January 2010-31 December 2014) to estimate the prevalence and economic burden of hyperkalemia. The prevalence for each calendar year was calculated as the number of patients with hyperkalemia divided by the total number of eligible patients per year. To estimate the economic burden of hyperkalemia, patients with hyperkalemia (cases) were matched 1:1 to patients without hyperkalemia (controls) on age group, chronic kidney disease [CKD] stage, dialysis treatment, and heart failure. The incremental 30-day and 1-year resource utilization and costs (2016 USD) associated with hyperkalemia were estimated.
The estimated prevalence of hyperkalemia was 2.6-2.7% in the overall population and 8.9-9.3% among patients with CKD and/or heart failure. Patients with hyperkalemia had higher 1-year rates of inpatient admissions (1.28 vs. 0.44), outpatient visits (30.48 vs. 23.88), emergency department visits (2.01 vs. 1.17), and skilled nursing facility admissions (0.36 vs. 0.11) than the matched controls (all p < .001). Patients with hyperkalemia incurred on average $7208 higher 30-day costs ($8894 vs. $1685) and $19,348 higher 1-year costs ($34,362 vs. $15,013) than controls (both p < .001). Among patients with CKD and/or heart failure, the 30-day and 1-year total cost differences between cohorts were $7726 ($9906 vs. $2180) and $21,577 ($41,416 vs. $19,839), respectively (both p < .001).
Hyperkalemia had an estimated prevalence of 2.6-2.7% in the Medicare population and was associated with markedly high healthcare costs.