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Serum potassium levels of patients on angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors – A cross-sectional study

Vishnupriya Ramakrishnan, Suganeshwari Soundarapandian.


Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are commonly used in clinical practice to treat hypertension. Hyperkalemia develops in approximately 10% of outpatients within a year of prescription of these drugs.

Aim and Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of hyperkalemia among outpatients who are taking ACE inhibitors for hypertension for more than 6 months.

Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Hypertension Clinic, Tirunelveli Medical College. Around 152 hypertensive patients taking ACE inhibitors for more than 6 months were enrolled in the study. Blood samples were obtained, and their serum potassium levels were measured.

Results: Among 152 patients, there were 88 male patients (57.9%) and 64 female patients (42.1%). Ten patients (35.71%) out of 18 patients who were on monotherapy presented with hyperkalemia and 20 patients (16.12%) out of 104 patients who were on combination therapy had hyperkalemia. A higher number of patients with hyperkalemia falls in the age group of 46–60 years of age. Out of 152 patients who took enalapril, 30 patients (19.73%) were found to have hyperkalemia. Of them, 20 patients (13.15%) had mild hyperkalemia, and ten patients (6.57%) had moderate hyperkalemia. There were no cases of severe hyperkalemia.

Conclusion: Hence, it is of considerable importance for physicians to identify patients at risk by regular monitoring and to implement measures to lessen the likelihood of the development of hyperkalemia.

Key words: Hyperkalemia; Hypertension; Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors

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