Profound hypokalemia was observed in 73 patients in a major university teaching hospital during a three-year period. When compared with hospitalized subjects used as controls, these patients experienced a greater mortality, were substantially more likely to be female, but were not more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Use of a diuretic appeared to precipitate profound hypokalemia infrequently, and when it did, the clinical situation was extremely complex. Over 10% of the patients with hypokalemia had acute myeloid leukemia, an incidence 22 times greater than that expected. Hypokalemia should be sought in all patients with this disease, since it is an avoidable cause of death. Further studies into the mechanism of hypokalemia are required to explain its striking preponderance in women.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Archives of Internal Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 1979|