In what populations is hyperkalemia (high serum potassium level) most common?

Updated: Jun 20, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Hyperkalemia, defined as a serum potassium concentration greater than 5.0–5.3 mEq/L, is rare in a general population of healthy individuals. In hospitalized patients, the incidence of hyperkalemia has ranged from 1% to 10%, depending on how the condition is defined. In hospitalized patients, drugs are implicated in the development of hyperkalemia in as many as 75% of cases. Decreased renal function, [15] genitourinary disease, cancer, severe diabetes, and polypharmacy may also predispose to hyperkalemia.


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