Updated: December 20, 2020, 8:38 pm IS
Washington, Dec. 20 (ANI): COVID-19 patients with end-stage kidney disease are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized than those without kidney disease, a recent study found.
An analysis of Geisinger’s electronic health records has shown that chronic kidney disease due to COVID-19 is the main risk factor for hospital stays. The results were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
A team of Geisinger researchers examined the health records of 12,971 people who were tested for COVID-19 in the Geisinger system between March 7 and May 19. Of this group, 1,604 were COVID positive and 354 had to be hospitalized. The team analyzed the records for the association between certain clinical conditions, including kidney, cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic conditions, and COVID-19 hospital stays.
Overall, chronic kidney disease was most associated with hospitalization, and COVID-19 patients with end-stage kidney disease were 11 times more likely to be hospitalized than those without kidney disease.
“Previous studies have identified a variety of health conditions associated with an increased risk of COVID-related hospitalization, including diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, and chronic kidney disease. What matters here is the level of risk associated with kidney disease.” said Dr. Alex Chang, Geisinger nephrologist and co-director of the Geisinger Kidney Health Research Institute. “These results underscore the need to prevent COVID-19-related illness in patients with kidney disease and other high-risk conditions.”
How the underlying medical conditions increase the risk of complications related to COVID-19 is not yet fully understood. However, the study suggests that the physiological stress caused by an excessive inflammatory response to COVID-19 infection could destabilize organs already weakened by chronic illness, or that organ injury from the virus could be seen as a “second hit” could work for these organs.
“Consistent with this hypothesis, the kidney and heart are among the tissues with the highest expression of ACE2, a SARS-CoV-2 receptor,” the team wrote.
While the sample size studied was relatively small, Geisinger’s resources as an integrated health system enabled a comprehensive analysis of the available data.
“Our team used a novel approach made possible by our extensive electronic health records, unique demographic data and integrated health system,” said Tooraj Mirshahi, associate professor at Geisinger’s Department of Molecular and Functional Genomics. (ANI)