Are individuals taking ACE inhibitors at increased risk of developing hyperkalemia (high serum potassium level)?

Updated: Apr 09, 2020
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Use of ACE inhibitors as a risk factor for hyperkalemia is a significant concern, particularly because the indications for these agents in high-risk populations are broad. In a 1998 study, 11% of patients at a Veterans Affairs general medicine outpatient clinic had hyperkalemia; risk factors included elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine, severe diabetes mellitus, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and the use of a long-acting drug. Hyperkalemia occurred in less than 6% of patients with normal renal function. [48]


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