Stopping renin-angiotensin system blockers after acute kidney injury and risk of adverse outcomes: parallel population-based cohort studies in English and Swedish routine care Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: The safety of restarting angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) after acute kidney injury (AKI) is unclear. There is concern that previous users do not restart ACEI/ARB despite ongoing indications. We sought to determine the risk of adverse events after an episode of AKI, comparing prior ACEI/ARB users who stop treatment to those who continue. METHODS: We conducted two parallel cohort studies in English and Swedish primary and secondary care, 2006-2016. We used multivariable Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for hospital admission with heart failure (primary analysis), AKI, stroke, or death within 2 years after hospital discharge following a first AKI episode. We compared risks of admission between people who stopped ACEI/ARB treatment to those who were prescribed ACEI/ARB within 30 days of AKI discharge. We undertook sensitivity analyses, including propensity score-matched samples, to explore the robustness of our results. RESULTS: In England, we included 7303 people with AKI hospitalisation following recent ACEI/ARB therapy for the primary analysis. Four thousand three (55%) were classified as stopping ACEI/ARB based on no prescription within 30 days of discharge. In Sweden, we included 1790 people, of whom 1235 (69%) stopped treatment. In England, no differences were seen in subsequent risk of heart failure (HR 1.10; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.93-1.30), AKI (HR 0.90; 95% CI 0.77-1.05), or stroke (HR 0.99; 95% CI 0.71-1.38), but there was an increased risk of death (HR 1.27; 95% CI 1.15-1.41) in those who stopped ACEI/ARB compared to those who continued. Results were similar in Sweden: no differences were seen in risk of heart failure (HR 0.91; 95% CI 0.73-1.13) or AKI (HR 0.81; 95% CI 0.54-1.21). However, no increased risk of death was seen (HR 0.94; 95% CI 0.78-1.13) and stroke was less common in people who stopped ACEI/ARB (HR 0.56; 95% CI 0.34-0.93). Results were similar across all sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Previous ACEI/ARB users who continued treatment after an episode of AKI did not have an increased risk of heart failure or subsequent AKI compared to those who stopped the drugs.


  • Bidulka, Patrick
  • Fu, Edouard L
  • Leyrat, Clémence
  • Kalogirou, Fotini
  • McAllister, Katherine SL
  • Kingdon, Edward J
  • Mansfield, Kathryn E
  • Iwagami, Masao
  • Smeeth, Liam
  • Clase, Catherine
  • Bhaskaran, Krishnan
  • van Diepen, Merel
  • Carrero, Juan-Jesus
  • Nitsch, Dorothea
  • Tomlinson, Laurie A

publication date

  • December 2020