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Hospital-Associated Hypernatremia Spectrum and Clinical Outcomes in an Unselected Cohort

      Abstract

      Background

      Although hypernatremia is associated with adverse outcomes, most studies examined selected populations.

      Methods

      Discharge data of 19,072 unselected hospitalized adults were analyzed. The crude relationship between serum sodium [Na+] and mortality defined hypernatremia as serum [Na+] >142 mEq/L. Patients with community-acquired hypernatremia or hospital-acquired hypernatremia were compared with normonatremic patients (admission [Na+] 138-142 mEq/L) regarding in-hospital mortality, length of stay, and discharge disposition. Patients with community-acquired hypernatremia whose hypernatremia worsened during hospitalization were compared with those without aggravation.

      Results

      Community-acquired hypernatremia occurred in 21% of hospitalized patients and was associated with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38-2.01) for in-hospital mortality and 1.44 (95% CI, 1.32-1.56) for discharge to a short-/long-term care facility and an adjusted 10% (95% CI, 7-13) increase in length of stay. Hospital-acquired hypernatremia developed in 25.9% of hospitalized patients and was associated with an adjusted OR of 3.17 (95% CI, 2.45-4.09) for in-hospital mortality and 1.45 (95% CI, 1.32-1.59) for discharge to a facility, and an adjusted 49% (95% CI, 44-53) increase in length of stay. Hospital-aggravated hypernatremia developed in 11.7% of patients with community-acquired hypernatremia and was associated with greater risk of in-hospital mortality (adjusted OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.32-2.56) and discharge to a facility (adjusted OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.71-2.69), and an adjusted 16% (95% CI, 7-27) increase in length of stay.

      Conclusions

      The hypernatremia spectrum in unselected hospitalized patients is independently associated with increased in-hospital mortality and heightened resource consumption.

      Keywords

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