How does age affect the frequency of hypokalemia (low potassium level)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

The frequency of hypokalemia increases with age because of increased use of diuretics and potassium-poor diets. However, infants and younger children are more susceptible to viral GI infections; emesis or diarrhea from such infections places them at increased risk for hypokalemia because the depletion of fluid volume and electrolytes from GI loss is relatively higher than that in older children and adults.


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