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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Being Hospitalized with Acute Kidney Injury May Increase Risk for Rehospitalization and Death

Stock image of female in hospital bed with male in labcoat talking to her

A study found that people who experienced acute kidney injury during a hospitalization were more likely to revisit the hospital, compared to people hospitalized without AKI.

Photo: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

An NIDDK-supported study found that people who experienced acute kidney injury (AKI) during a hospitalization, including those admitted with AKI or who developed AKI in the hospital, were more likely to revisit the hospital or die shortly after discharge, compared to people hospitalized without AKI. 

AKI is a sudden loss of kidney function that usually lasts for a short time. The research was published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.  

“Monitoring people with AKI in the weeks after hospital discharge may be critical in preventing future adverse health outcomes,” said NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin Rodgers. “These findings present an opportunity for further research to develop and test interventions designed to reduce the risks associated with AKI.”

According to the findings, people who had been hospitalized with AKI, whether or not they had pre-existing kidney disease, were 62% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for any reason and 266% more likely to die of any cause within 90 days after discharge from the hospital. 

During the year following discharge, those hospitalized with AKI were re-hospitalized nearly 60% more often than those hospitalized without AKI and more than twice as likely to die. Heart failure, sepsis, and pneumonia were among the most common causes for readmission after discharge with an AKI hospitalization.

The researchers analyzed data from nearly 1 million people in a national health insurance claims database, comparing around 470,000 patients who had a hospitalization with an AKI diagnosis with the same number of patients hospitalized without an AKI diagnosis. 

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