According to a National Institutes of Health-funded study, patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) who were hospitalized, including those who were admitted with AKI or who developed it while there, had a higher risk of returning or passing away soon after being released.

AKI is a rapid decline in kidney function that often passes quickly. The study was released in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases and was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health.

The results showed that persons with AKI were 266% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for any reason and 62% more likely to be readmitted for any reason if they had previously been hospitalized with AKI.

We hope this study leads to a growing awareness about the dramatic increased adverse risks after a hospitalization with AKI – outcomes that could substantially affect health,” said Dr. Ivonne Schulman, program director at NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases, and one of the paper’s co-authors.

“There currently is no standard of care for people after being hospitalized with AKI, and this information could help get us there.”

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. The two groups were matched on other characteristics, such as pre-existing medical conditions, sex, race, and ethnicity.