Study Results Show COVID-19 Linked to Decline in Kidney Function

Research shows that individuals who had either a severe or mild case of the virus had an increased risk of kidney damage and disease.

Kidney function has been shown to decline in individuals who had COVID-19, both severely and mildly, according to new study results.

“Our findings emphasize the critical importance of paying attention to kidney function and disease in caring for patients who have had COVID-19,” Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University, said in a statement.

“If kidney care isn’t an integral part of COVID-19 post-acute care strategy, then we will miss opportunities to help potentially hundreds of thousands of people who have no idea that their kidney function has declined due to this virus. This is in addition to the millions of Americans who suffer from kidney disease not caused by COVID-19,” Al-Aly said.

The research done by the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 have an increased likelihood of developing chronic and end-stage kidney diseases and kidney damage, according to the statement.

Individuals who contracted the virus but did not need to be hospitalized had a 15% increased risk of major adverse kidney events, such as chronic kidney disease, a 30% increased risk of developing acute kidney injury, and a 215% increased risk of end-stage kidney disease, according to the statement.

Individuals who were hospitalized for COVID-19 were 7 times more likely to experience a major adverse kidney event, 8 times more likely to have an acute kidney injury, and 13 times more likely to develope end-state kidney disease.

Although the early stages of kidney disease can often be treated with medication, about 90% of people with kidney disease and dysfunction do not know, because the illnesses can be pain- and symptom-free, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Reference

COVID-19 long-haulers at risk of developing kidney damage, disease. EurekAlert. News release. September 1, 2021. Accessed September 1, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/927063