Since the serum potassium level is under beta2-adrenergic influence, we studied serum potassium values on admission in psychiatric patients. Data are reported on 683 patients from nine major diagnostic groups. Among these nine groups significant differences were found concerning the mean serum potassium level and incidence of hypokalemia. Significant differences existed between the alcohol withdrawal and attempted suicide groups compared to the dysthymic, bipolar manic, schizophrenic and nonschizophrenic psychosis groups. Like alcohol withdrawal, attempted suicide is assumed to be a hyper-adrenergic state. Although the relative contribution of factors like nutritional state, aldosterone, insulin, and beta2-receptor density or sensitivity is unclear, the catecholamine-potassium relationship deserves further study.
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An abstract of this study will be published as a letter to the editor in the J Clin Psychiatr
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Kemperman, C.J.F., Kuilman, M. & Njio, L.K.F. A retrospective and explorative study of hypokalemia in psychiatric disorders: a beta2-receptor related phenomenon. Eur Arch Psychiatr Neurol Sci 237, 161–165 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00451284
- Psychiatric disorders