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Kidney Week

Abstract: SA-PO430

Prevalence of Hyperkalemia in Medicare Patients

Session Information

Category: Chronic Kidney Disease (Non-Dialysis)

  • 304 CKD: Epidemiology, Outcomes - Non-Cardiovascular


  • Betts, Keith, Analysis Group, Inc., Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Woolley, J. Michael, ZS Pharma Inc., San Mateo, California, United States
  • Mu, Fan, Analysis Group, Inc., Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Tang, Wenxi, Analysis Group, Inc., Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Wang, Yao, Analysis Group, Inc., Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Wu, Eric, Analysis Group, Inc., Los Angeles, California, United States

The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hyperkalemia in the Medicare patient population.


Adults with at least one medical service were selected from the 5% random Medicare sample (01/01/2010-12/31/2014). Patients with at least one calendar year of data with continuous enrollment throughout the year were included. Hyperkalemia was defined as having at least one diagnosis code of hyperkalemia (ICD-9, 276.7). Prevalence of hyperkalemia for each calendar year (2010-2014) was calculated as the number of patients with hyperkalemia divided by the total number of eligible patients within the year. Additionally, prevalence of hyperkalemia was also estimated among comorbidity subgroups defined by chronic kidney disease (CKD), CKD stage, heart failure (HF) and dialysis. CKD, CKD stage, and HF were identified via ICD-9 codes, and dialysis was identified via procedure codes. Hyperkalemia prevalence standardized to the US elderly population was calculated using hyperkalemia prevalence stratified by age and gender among patients aged 65 and above in the 5% Medicare sample and the corresponding US census population distribution.


A total of 1,964,905 patients were included in the analysis (2010-2014). The prevalence of hyperkalemia in the overall population ranged from 2.6%-2.7% across calendar years. The prevalence of hyperkalemia was 10.8%-12.4% among CKD patients, 8.6%-9.4% among HF patients, 8.9%-9.3% among patients with CKD and/or HF, and 50.2%-52.8% among patients that underwent dialysis. The prevalence of hyperkalemia was 9.4%-11.1% for CKD stage 3 patients, 19.5%-20.7% for CKD stage 4 patients, and 17.8%-20.2% for CKD stage 5 patients. The standardized prevalence of hyperkalemia ranged between 1.0 and 1.1 million (2.5%-2.6%) from 2010-2014 in the US elderly population.


This study estimated that the prevalence of hyperkalemia among Medicare beneficiaries is 2.6%-2.7%. The prevalence of hyperkalemia is much higher among CKD patients, HF patients, CKD and/or HF patients, and patients that underwent dialysis, as compared to the general Medicare population. Annually, approximately 1 million of US population aged 65 and above are estimated to have hyperkalemia.