Sodium Fluctuations and Mortality in a General Hospitalized Population

Gianmarco Lombardi, Pietro Manuel Ferraro*, Luca Calvaruso, Alessandro Naticchia, Silvia D'Alonzo, Giovanni Gambaro

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND/AIMS: Aim of our study was to describe the association between natremia (Na) fluctuation and hospital mortality in a general population admitted to a tertiary medical center. METHODS: We performed a retrospective observational cohort study on the patient population admitted to the Fondazione Policlinico A. Gemelli IRCCS Hospital between January 2010 and December 2014 with inclusion of adult patients with at least 2 Na values available and with a normonatremic condition at hospital admission. Patients were categorized according to all Na values recorded during hospital stay in the following groups: normonatremia, hyponatremia, hypernatremia, and mixed dysnatremia. The difference between the highest or the lowest Na value reached during hospital stay and the Na value read at hospital admission was used to identify the maximum Na fluctuation. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for in-hospital death in the groups with dysnatremias and across quartiles of Na fluctuation. Covariates assessed were age, sex, highest and lowest Na level, Charlson/Deyo score, cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, dementia, congestive heart failure, severe kidney disease, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and number of Na measurements during hospital stay. RESULTS: 46,634 admissions matched inclusion criteria. Incident dysnatremia was independently associated with in-hospital mortality (hyponatremia: HR 3.11, 95% CI 2.53, 3.84, p < 0.001; hypernatremia: HR 5.12, 95% CI 3.94, 6.65, p < 0.001; mixed-dysnatremia: HR 4.94, 95% CI 3.08, 7.92, p < 0.001). We found a higher risk of in-hospital death by linear increase of quartile of Na fluctuation (p trend <0.001) irrespective of severity of dysnatremia (HR 2.34, 95% CI 1.55, 3.54, p < 0.001, for the highest quartile of Na fluctuation compared with the lowest). CONCLUSIONS: Incident dysnatremia is associated with higher hospital mortality. Fluctuation of Na during hospital stay is a prognostic marker for hospital death independent of dysnatremia severity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Hospital mortality
  • Hypernatremia
  • Hyponatremia
  • Retrospective study
  • Survival analysis


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