Background: Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockers slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Despite this, up to 40% of patients with CKD and an indication for RAS blockade do not receive these medications. The purpose of this study was to examine variables associated with the prescription of RAS blockers in patients with CKD and to identify opportunities to increase their use.
Methods: The electronic medical records of patients with moderate to severe CKD and an indication for RAS blockade were reviewed. For patients with an indication for RAS blockade who were not prescribed these medications, previous notes were reviewed to ascertain reasons why RAS blockade was not prescribed.
Results: Six hundred twenty-seven patients with moderate to severe CKD and an indication for RAS blockade were identified. Of these patients, 225 (36%) were not prescribed RAS blockade. This group was found to have significantly less diabetes, to be significantly older and to have significantly lower estimated glomerular filtration rate and blood pressure than the group on RAS blockade. For the majority (59%), no documented reason for not being prescribed RAS blockade was found. Among documented reasons, hyperkalemia and a history of acute kidney injury were the most common.
Conclusions: The authors found that a large proportion of patients with CKD and an indication for RAS blockade were not prescribed these medications. For the majority, there was no provider-documented reason explaining why these medications were not prescribed, and the findings suggest that there may be opportunities to increase RAS blocker prescribing.