Supplementary Material for: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Mortality Associated with Serum Potassium in Incident Peritoneal Dialysis Patients

Background: Abnormalities in serum potassium are risk factors for sudden cardiac death and arrhythmias among dialysis patients. Although a previous study in hemodialysis patients has shown that race/ethnicity may impact the relationship between serum potassium and mortality, the relationship remains unclear among peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients where the dynamics of serum potassium is more stable. Methods: Among 17,664 patients who started PD between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011 in a large US dialysis organization, we evaluated the association of serum potassium levels with all-cause and arrhythmia-related deaths across race/ethnicity using time-dependent Cox models with adjustments for demographics. We also used restricted cubic spline functions for serum potassium levels to explore non-linear associations. Results: Baseline serum potassium levels were the highest among Hispanics (4.2 ± 0.7 mEq/L) and lowest among non-Hispanic blacks (4.0 ± 0.7 mEq/L). Among 2,949 deaths during the follow-up of median 2.2 (interquartile ranges 1.3–3.2) years, 683 (23%) were arrhythmia-related deaths. Overall, both hyperkalemia and hypokalemia (i.e., serum potassium levels >5.0 and <3.5 mEq/L, respectively) were associated with higher all-cause and arrhythmia-related mortality. In a stratified analysis according to race/ethnicity, the association of hypokalemia with all-cause and arrhythmia-related mortality was consistent with an attenuation for arrhythmia-related mortality in non-Hispanic blacks. Hyperkalemia was associated with all-cause and arrhythmia-related mortality in non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks, but no association was observed in Hispanics. Conclusion: Among incident PD patients, hypokalemia was consistently associated with all-cause and arrhythmia-related deaths irrespective of race/ethnicity. However, while hyperkalemia was associated with both death outcomes in non-Hispanic blacks and whites, it was not associated with either death outcome in Hispanic patients. Further studies are needed to demonstrate whether different strategies should be followed for the management of serum potassium levels according to race/ethnicity.