Acute kidney injury boosts death risk in COVID-19 patients, Northwell study finds

About 40 percent of adult COVID-19 patients hospitalized at New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health experienced acute kidney injury this spring, according to new research from Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, the system's research arm.

Researchers examined the outcomes of 9,657 adult COVID-19 patients admitted to 13 hospitals in the New York metropolitan area between March 1 and April 27. 

The overall incidence rate of acute kidney injury was 38.4 per 1,000 patient-days. 

The in-hospital death rate for COVID-19 patients without acute kidney injury was 10.8 per 1,000 patient days. This figure rose to 31.1 for patients who had acute kidney injury but did not need dialysis and 37.5 for patients who needed dialysis.

The risk of death still remained higher among patients with acute kidney injury when researchers adjusted for demographics, comorbidities and illness severity.

Among acute kidney injury patients who did not need dialysis, 74 percent recovered kidney function by the time they were discharged. Among acute kidney injury patients who required dialysis, 30.6 percent still needed the therapy after discharge. Chronic kidney disease was the only risk factor associated with needing dialysis upon discharge, researchers found. More research is needed to understand the outcomes of these patients, they said.

The study was accepted for publication in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.


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