Hyponatremia and Central Pontine Myelinolysis

What is hyponatremia? Information regarding CPM and EPM.

Hyponatremia: YOU’LL WANT TO READ THIS. Statistics.

I have been trying to locate statistics for hyponatremia for months. I have searched hundreds of websites. I have tried contacting local hospitals. FINALLY, I’ve had a breakthrough, and it’s a HUGE breakthrough.

There is a research tool funded by the government and due to the Freedom of Information Act hospitals must post their annual diagnostic statistics.

I’m a novice at researching facts on this website, so as I am able to locate more information, I will be certain to post it. Without further adieu, here is the golden nugget for hyponatremia.

First, let me explain that hyponatremia is coded as hyponatremia/and or Hyposmolality. The ICD-9-CM code for this is 276.1. This is the medical billing code used by doctors and hospitals to receive payment from insurance companies or medicaid/medicare. Please use the following link to confirm the diagnositc codes:


To make this a little more accesible, I will simply copy and paste the essential information from the above site:

2011 ICD-9-CM Diagnosis Code 276.1convert to ICD-10-CM

Hyposmolality and/or hyponatremia
  • abnormally low sodium levels in the blood; salt depletion.
  • Abnormally low blood sodium level.
  • Hypernatremia; lower than normal levels of sodium in the circulating blood.

Let me point out that the above information, contains an error. Hypernatremia is not LOWER than normal sodium levels. I believe this is simply an editing error and that the above description should read: Hyponatremia; lower than normal levels of sodium in the circulating blood. I believe this is a logical deduction considering the title of the code is a description of hyposmolality and/or hyponatremia, not hypernatremia.  I would also like to reassure you that hyposmolality is another way to describe hyponatremia.

There are further codes that describe other electrolytic disorders, like hyperkalemia (high potassium), etc.

That said, check out the following information from this link:


This link has the motherload for statistics for hyponatremia, and it is astounding!

The following is taken directly from the above link:

HCUPnet provides trend information for the 17 year period: 1993-2009

Number of discharges
ICD-9-CM all-listed diagnosis code and name 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
276.1 Hyposmolality 1,035,284 1,114,170 1,100,355 1,011,519 975,253 922,323 773,223 753,530 905,743 923,473 1,005,420 1,105,431 1,239,144 1,265,353 1,362,216 1,602,836 1,735,847

YES, you are reading that right. In most years, more than a MILLION people per year are diagnosed with hyponatremia. WOW! I would also like to point out that the incidence of hyponatremia has been STEADILY increasing since 1999! I think this speaks volumes for why hyponatremia/CPM and EPM should be a household name.

The following are the maximum amount of error that’s possible each year with this diagnosis. What does that mean?

It means that the statistics, for example, in 2009 has a possible range in error of being a maximum of  1,788,305 and a minimum of
1,683,389. Each year, there is a maximum number of errors that can positively or negatively impact the reported data. The following table documents the number of possible errors.  Please feel free to post any questions associated with this.

Number of discharges – Standard Errors
ICD-9-CM all-listed diagnosis code and name 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
276.1 Hyposmolality 35,104 36,817 37,056 36,746 36,207 35,803 20,986 19,120 21,021 22,157 23,650 27,058 34,350 34,636 31,387 44,683 52,458

The next description is the how they determined the above chart regarding possible errors.

Weighted national estimates from HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), based on data collected by individual States and provided to AHRQ by the States. Statistics based on estimates with a relative standard error (standard error / weighted estimate) greater than 0.30 or with standard error = 0 in the nationwide statistics (NIS, NEDS, and KID) are not reliable. These statistics are suppressed and are designated with an asterisk (*). The estimates of standard errors in HCUPnet were calculated using SUDAAN software. These estimates may differ slightly if other software packages are used to calculate variances.

Bottom Line:

There are an extremely large number of people being hospitalized each year for hyponatremia. This number is on the rise, and it is of the utmost importance to spread the facts about hyponatremia, the proper treatment and what occurs if it is not treated properly (CPM/EPM).

Please continue to read this blog. Forward the information to friends and family. Post links to your FaceBook pages, Twitter, etc. Please, help spread the word and save people’s lives.



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