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AIMS: We assessed the interplay between hyperkalaemia (HK) and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor (RAASi) use, dose and discontinuation, and their association with all-cause or cardiovascular death in patients with chronic heart failure (HF). We hypothesized that HK-associated increased death may be related to RAASi withdrawal. METHODS AND RESULTS: The ESC-HFA-EORP Heart Failure Long-Term Registry was used. Among 9222 outpatients (HF with reduced ejection fraction: 60.6%, HF with mid-range ejection fraction: 22.9%, HF with preserved ejection fraction: 16.5%) from 31 countries, 16.6% had HK (≥5.0 mmol/L) at baseline. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) was used in 88.3%, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA) in 58.7%, or a combination in 53.2%; of these, at ≥50% of target dose in ACEi: 61.8%; ARB: 64.7%; and MRA: 90.3%. At a median follow-up of 12.2 months, there were 789 deaths (8.6%). Both hypokalaemia and HK were independently associated with higher mortality, and ACEi/ARB prescription at baseline with lower mortality. MRA prescription was not retained in the model. In multivariable analyses, HK at baseline was independently associated with MRA non-prescription at baseline and subsequent discontinuation. When considering subsequent discontinuation of RAASi (instead of baseline use), HK was no longer found associated with all-cause deaths. Importantly, all RAASi (ACEi, ARB, or MRA) discontinuations were strongly associated with mortality. CONCLUSIONS: In HF, hyper- and hypokalaemia were associated with mortality. However, when adjusting for RAASi discontinuation, HK was no longer associated with mortality, suggesting that HK may be a risk marker for RAASi discontinuation rather than a risk factor for worse outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Heart Fail

Publication Date





1378 - 1389


Heart failure, Hyperkalaemia, Hypokalaemia, Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, Prognosis, Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors, Aldosterone, Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists, Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, Angiotensins, Heart Failure, Humans, Hyperkalemia, Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists, Registries, Renin