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Biochemical monitoring after initiation of aldosterone antagonist therapy in users of renin-angiotensin system blockers: a UK primary care cohort study

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  • Sarah Jo Sinnott, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • ,
  • Kathryn E. Mansfield, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • ,
  • Morten Schmidt
  • Krishnan Bhaskaran, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • ,
  • Liam Smeeth, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • ,
  • Dorothea Nitsch, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • ,
  • Laurie A. Tomlinson, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of biochemical monitoring after initiation of aldosterone antagonists(AA) in patients also using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ACEI/ARB).

SETTING: UK primary care.

PARTICIPANTS: ACEI/ARB users who initiated AA between 2004 and 2014.

OUTCOMES: We calculated the proportions with: (1) biochemical monitoring ≤2 weeks post initiation of AA, (2) adverse biochemical values ≤2 months (potassium ≥6 mmol/L, creatinine ≥220 µmol/L and ≥30% increase in creatinine from baseline) and (3) discontinuers of AA in those with an adverse biochemical value. We used logistic regression to study patient characteristics associated with monitoring and adverse biochemical values.

RESULTS: In 10 546 initiators of AA, 3291 (31.2%) had a record of biochemical monitoring ≤2 weeks post initiation. A total of 2.0% and 2.7% of those with follow-up monitoring within 2 months of initiation experienced potassium ≥6 mmol/L and creatinine ≥220 µmol/L, respectively, whereas 13.5% had a ≥30% increase in creatinine. Baseline potassium (OR 3.59, 95% CI 2.43 to 5.32 for 5.0-5.5 mmol/L compared with <5.0 mmol/L) and estimated glomerular filtration rate 45-59 ml/min/1.73 m2 (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.26 to 3.35 compared with ≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2) were independently predictive of potassium ≥6 mmol/L. Women and people with diabetes had higher odds of ≥30% increase in creatinine.

CONCLUSION: Less than one-third of patients taking ACEI/ARB had biochemical monitoring within 2 weeks of initiating AAs. Higher levels of monitoring may reduce adverse biochemical events.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Pages (from-to)e018153
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2017

    Research areas

  • drug monitoring, electronic health records, health care delivery, heart failure, hypertension

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