The relationship between Covid and kidney health was the focus of the 62nd Congress of the Italian Society of Nephrology. More than half of the patients admitted to hospital for Covid-19 developed acute kidney injury. SARS-CoV-2 infection hits the kidneys hard. Not only do renal patients have a greater chance of ending up in hospital, but it is the infection itself that damages the kidneys even in patients who previously had no problems.
Covid and kidney health: here’s what the data say
Renal patients were infected in 20% more cases than the general population. Their death rate is 10 times higher. Among the healthy population, on the other hand, experts speak of 30-40% of patients who have developed kidney problems of varying intensity after being infected with Covid.
The kidneys are among the most affected organs
Along with the lungs and circulatory system, the kidneys are among the organs most affected. “We cannot ignore the clinical impact it has had on kidney health. The occurrence of major kidney problems is over 50% in the stage of Covid-19 disease in hospitalized patients. There are also higher post-acute risks when the infection is very severe. Nonetheless, post-acute renal outcomes are evident even in cases where the acute disease was not so severe as to require hospitalization ”. Piergiorgio Messa is President of the Italian Society of Nephrology
and Director of the Complex Operational Unit of Nephrology, Dialysis and Kidney Transplant – Polyclinic of Milan and Full Professor of Nephrology at the University of Milan.
Covid and kidney health: who are the people most at risk
On average, the risk of acute kidney injury incidence in Covid-19 patients was 20.4 percent. In English and also in the medical world it is called AKI, which stands for Acute Kidney Injury. This is the alarming figure that emerges from 17 studies involving over 18 thousand patients in Italy. Among the factors associated with the onset of AKI
- an age over 70,
- the male sex,
- the presence of comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, neoplasm.
“The onset of AKI increased ICU admissions and the likelihood of death, with a severity of kidney damage that went hand in hand with the severity of Covid-19 infection.”