Highlights• Among a group of veterans discharged from the hospital after acute kidney injury or heart attacks, death occurred most often in patients who experienced both conditions and least often in patients experiencing heart attacks alone. • Patients with acute kidney injury later experienced more major heart and kidney problems than those who had heart attacks.
Acute kidney injury is one of the most common and serious complications of hospitalized patients.
Newswise — Washington, DC (December 5, 2013) — Acute kidney injury, a condition that is common but often asymptomatic, may be more deadly than a heart attack, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The findings suggest that follow-up and surveillance may be critical to protect the health of individuals who develop this form of kidney damage.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an abrupt decline in kidney function that often arises after major surgeries or severe infections. Lakhmir Chawla, MD (George Washington University and Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Washington DC) and his colleagues sought to look at the seriousness of AKI by analyzing patient information in a VA database. Their analysis included 36,980 patients discharged with a diagnosis of AKI or heart attack (myocardial infarction, or MI) who were admitted to a VA facility between October 1999 and December 2005.
The researchers found that death occurred most often in patients who experienced both AKI and MI (57.5%), and least often in patients with uncomplicated admissions for MI (32.3%). Patients with AKI or AKI + MI later experienced more major heart and kidney problems than those with MI alone.
“The findings from this study will be critical for planning future interventional trials in patients with AKI,” said Dr. Chawla. “Because AKI remains an ongoing and increasing public health hazard, more research into the treatment and management of this syndrome is critically required.”
Study co-authors include Paul Kimmel, MD, Carlos Palant, MD, Andrew Shaw, MD, Charles Faselis, MD, and Richard Amdur, PhD.
Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures.
The article, entitled “Association Between Acute Kidney Injury and Long-Term Renal and Cardiovascular Outcomes in US Veterans,” will appear online at http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/ on December 5, 2013. The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.
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