Journal Article
Observational Study
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Diseases associated with electrolyte imbalance in the ED: age-related differences.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study is to investigate the prevalence of electrolyte imbalance (EI) in the emergency department (ED) with systemic diseases in different decades of life.

METHODS: We enrolled patients admitted to the ED. The population study included 7941 patients, subdivided in 3 groups: young group (Y), middle-aged group (MA), and elderly group (E).

RESULTS: We observed EI in 13.7% of the whole population. Hyponatremia (hNa+ ) is the most frequent EI (44%) followed by hypokalemia (hK+ ) (39%), hyperkalemia (HK+ ) (13%), and hypernatremia (HNa+ ) (4.4%). In the Y group, the EI occurred in 7.1% of all patients (P< .05 vs MA and E), whereas in the MA group, they were shown in 11.5% of patients and in the E group in 22% of all patients group (P< .05 vs MA and Y). In the Y group, gastrointestinal diseases are the most frequently associated disease (24.6%; P< .05 vs MA and E). In the MA group, the most frequently associated disease was a current cardiovascular disease (29.7%; P< .05 vs Y and E). In the E group, the frequently associated diseases are cardiovascular (22.8%; P< .05 vs Y) and lung diseases (16.7%; P< .05 vs MA and Y).

CONCLUSIONS: In our study, 13.7% of all patients showed an EI, and only 2% of cases were alone without any associated systemic disease. Most EIs are associated to other systemic diseases. The present data also depict different age-related and disease-associated prevalence patterns of EI, thus highlighting a complex clinical scenario.

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