Northwell Health, the largest health provider in New York State, issued a news release on Thursday, highlighting large-scale research examining the “alarming number” of patients who developed AKI after being hospitalized for a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
AKI is a condition that occurs in relation to a sudden episode of kidney failure or damage. Though treatable, a kidney injury of this kind can often lead to death because of the resultant inability to filter waste inside the human body.
During the study, a team of investigators with the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research analyzed electronic health records (EHR) of 5,449 patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus between March 1 and April 5.
Researchers determined that 1,993 novel coronavirus patients (36.6%) had developed AKI during their hospitalization. Moreover, 780 of those 1,993 COVID-19 patients (39.1%) who developed AKI remained hospitalized at the study’s conclusion.
The data analysis also showed “the link between respiratory failure and AKI was substantial.” Of all those hospitalized with the contagious respiratory disease, 285 patients required dialytic therapy at some point.
It was revealed that 1,068 (89.9%) of the 1,190 COVID-19 patients who needed mechanical ventilation also developed AKI. Additional dialysis therapy was also necessary for 276 patients who received mechanical ventilation and developed AKI while hospitalized with the virus.
Comparatively, only 9 (0.2%) of the 4,259 non-ventilated patients battling the novel coronavirus needed dialysis therapy.
“We hope to learn more about the COVID-19 related AKI in the coming weeks, and that by sharing what we have learned from our patients, other doctors and their patients can benefit,” said Kenar D. Jhaveri, a medical doctor and researcher at the Feinstein Institutes and corresponding author of the study.
The team clarified that a number of risk factors are tied to the development of AKI, including, but not restricted to, age, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
“Researchers also found those of the Black race were at increased risk for developing AKI,” noted Northwell. According to the American Heart Association, hypertension and diabetes are more common among black Americans than non-Hispanic white Americans.
The complete study can be found in the peer-reviewed journal Kidney International.