Metabolic acidosis is undertreated and underdiagnosed: a retrospective cohort study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • ABSTRACT Background Guidelines recommend treatment of metabolic acidosis (MA) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but the diagnosis and treatment rates in real-world settings are unknown. We investigated the frequency of MA treatment and diagnosis in patients with CKD. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we examined administrative health data from two US databases [Optum's de-identified Integrated Claims + Clinical Electronic Health Record Database (US EMR cohort; 1 January 2007 to 30 June 2019) and Symphony Health Solutions IDV® (US claims cohort; 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2019)] and population-level databases from Manitoba, Canada (1 April 2006 to 31 March 2018). Patients who met laboratory criteria indicative of CKD and chronic MA were included: two consecutive estimated glomerular filtration results <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and two serum bicarbonate results 12 to <22 mEq/L over 28–365 days. Outcomes included treatment of MA (defined as a prescription for oral sodium bicarbonate) and a diagnosis of MA (defined using administrative records). Outcomes were assessed over a 3-year period (1 year pre-index, 2 years post-index). Results A total of 96 184 patients were included: US EMR, 6179; Manitoba, 3223; US Claims, 86 782. Sodium bicarbonate treatment was prescribed for 17.6%, 8.7% and 15.3% of patients, and a diagnosis was found for 44.7%, 20.9% and 20.9% of patients, for the US EMR, Manitoba and US Claims cohorts, respectively. Conclusions This analysis of 96 184 patients with laboratory-confirmed MA from three independent cohorts of patients with CKD and MA highlights an important diagnosis and treatment gap for this disease-modifying complication.


  • Whitlock, Reid H
  • Ferguson, Thomas W
  • Komenda, Paul
  • Rigatto, Claudio
  • Collister, David
  • Bohm, Clara
  • Reaven, Nancy L
  • Funk, Susan E
  • Tangri, Navdeep

publication date

  • May 31, 2023