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Kidney Injury Increases Risk Of Serious Kidney Disease

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Acute kidney injury (AKI) is often caused by trauma, illness, or surgery. Research now shows that people who have suffered AKI have a higher risk later in life of getting the most serious form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), known as end stage renal disease (ESRD). If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or illness to the kidneys close medical follow-up is important for maintaining your future health.

Around the world and in Hawaii, Kidney disease is a serious and growing problem. Diabetes, aging and hypertension increase the risk of risk of developing AKI and researchers suspect that AKI may also lead to kidney disease, but this potential link has not been thoroughly studied.

Allan J. Collins, MD, of the United States Renal Data System (USRD) in Minneapolis, MN, reviewed Medicare claims of 234,000 patients aged 67 years or older who were hospitalized. The incidence of AKI was 3.1%. Seventy-two percent (72.1%) of the AKI patients with AKI developed CKD within two years, indicating that AKI may initiate CKD. In addition, AKI patients were 6.74 times more likely to develop ESRD than those without injury. Acute Kidney Injury Increases Risk of ESRD among Elderly. Journal of the American Society Nephrology, November 19, 2008; January 2009 print issue

Dr. Collins noted that CKD is often complicated by AKI, and patients with both conditions are particularly susceptible to the development of ESRD. careful medical monitoring of such patients is critical to their health.

Physicians should take advantage of relatively simple lab tests to check kidney function. Interventions such as lifestyle changes and medications can help slow the progression of kidney disease. Science Daily

Despite the good prognosis generally associated with AKI, kidney injury and damage can lead to ESRD if proper monitoring is not done over the years and immediate treatment of lingering effects is not instituted.