Good News! Study Finds That Most Recovered COVID-19 Patients Even With Mild Infections Will Ultimately Develop Virus Induced Kidney Damage!
A new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System has alarmingly found that most ‘recovered’ COVID-19 patients including those that initially only had a mild condition of the disease upon infection will still ultimately develop kidney damage over time.
Numerous studies continue to mount indicating that many individuals who've had COVID-19 go on to suffer a range of adverse conditions months after their initial infections including increased risk of post-acute sequelae involving pulmonary and extrapulmonary organ systems often referred to as long COVID
A detailed deep dive into U.S.federal health data adds to those concerns, pointing to a significant decline in kidney function among those dubbed COVID-19 long-haulers and even among those who had mild infections of the virus.
The alarming study findings showed that those infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at an increased likelihood of developing kidney damage as well as chronic and end-stage kidney diseases.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. https://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/early/2021/08/25/ASN.2021060734
Typically known as the silent killer, kidney dysfunction and disease tend to be free of pain and other symptoms, so much so that the National Kidney Foundation estimates that 90% of people with ailing kidneys don't know it.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, kidney disease affects 37 million individuals in the U.S. and is one of the nation's leading causes of death.
However with the advent of the COVId-19 pandemic, physicians are seeing exponential ‘excess’ figures of kidney issues in patients especially those that had ‘recovered’ from COVID-19.
Senior author Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University told Thailand Medical News, "Our study findings emphasize the critical importance of paying attention to kidney function and disease in caring for patients who have had COVID-19. If kidney care isn't an integral part of COVID-19 post-acute care strategy, then we will miss opportunities to help potentially hundreds of thousands of people who have no idea that their kidney function has declined due to this virus. This is in addition to the millions of Americans who suffer from kidney disease not caused by COVID-19
The study findings coincide with a surge in COVID-19 infections spurred by the delta variant. More than 38 million people have been diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic started.
Dr Al-Aly added, "Based on our research, we believe that 510,000 of those individuals in America who have had COVID-19 may have kidney injury or disease."
The study team analyzed de-identified medical records in a database maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the nation's largest integrated health-care delivery system. The researchers created a controlled dataset that included
health information from more than 1.7 million healthy and COVID-infected veterans from March 1, 2020, through March 15, 2021. Of those veterans, 89,216 had confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses and made it through the acute phase (the first 30 days of the disease).
Most of the American COVID-19 patients in the study were men and in their late 60s; however, the study team also analyzed data that included 151,289 women including 8,817 with COVID-19 and adults of all ages. Among the COVID-19 patients, 12,376 (13.9%) required hospitalization, including 4,146 (4.6%) who were admitted to intensive care units (ICUs).
The study team examined risks of AKI, eGFR decline, ESKD, and major adverse kidney events (MAKE) defined as eGFR decline ≥50%, ESKD, or all-cause mortality using inverse probability weighted survival regressions, adjusting for predefined demographic and health characteristics, and algorithmically selected high-dimensional covariates including diagnoses, medications, and laboratory tests. Linear mixed models characterized intra-individual eGFR trajectory.
The study findings showed that beyond the acute illness, 30-day survivors of COVID-19 exhibited a higher risk of AKI (aHR=1.94 (95%CI: 1.86,2.04)), eGFR decline ≥30% (1.25 (1.14,1.37)), eGFR decline ≥40% (1.44 (1.37,1.51)), eGFR decline ≥50% (1.62 (1.51,1.74)), ESKD (2.96 (2.49-3.51)), and MAKE (1.66 (1.58,1.74)). There was a graded increase in risks of post-acute kidney outcomes according to the severity of the acute infection (whether patients were non-hospitalized, hospitalized, or admitted to intensive care). Compared to non-infected controls, 30-day COVID-19 survivors exhibited excess eGFR decline of -3.26 (-3.58, -2.94), -5.20 (-6.24, -4.16), and -7.69 (-8.27, -7.12) mL/min/1.73m2/year in non-hospitalized, hospitalized, and those admitted to intensive care during the acute phase of COVID-19 infection.
Dr Al-Aly, who is also director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center and chief of the Research and Education Service at the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System added, "The risk of decreased kidney function is highest among people who were in the ICU; however, it's important to note that the risk extends to all patients, even those who had milder cases of COVID-19
He further added, “Earlier stages of kidney disease often can be treated with medication. It's essential to discover kidney dysfunction before the problem progresses and becomes harder to treat. But kidney problems are silent problems that won't be found until somebody checks the bloodwork. Based on our research, it's especially important that health-care providers do this for people who have had COVID-19. Otherwise, we'll miss a lot of people and, sadly, we'll be dealing with more advanced kidney diseases down the road."
When compared with patients who did not become infected, individuals who contracted the virus but did not need to be hospitalized for it had a 15% higher risk of suffering from a major adverse kidney event such as chronic kidney disease, a 30% higher risk of developing acute kidney injury, and a 215% (more than twofold) higher risk of acquiring end-stage kidney disease.
The condition of the latter occurs when the kidneys can no longer effectively remove waste from the body. In such cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to keep patients alive.
Shockingly the risk increased for patients hospitalized for COVID-19, and considerably so for those who were in the ICU for the virus is seven times the risk of experiencing a major adverse kidney event, eight times the risk of acute kidney injury and 13 times the risk of end-stage kidney disease.
Dr Al-Aly added, "Individuals who were hospitalized for COVID-19 or needed ICU care are at the highest risk. But the risk is not zero for those who had milder cases. In fact, it's significant. And we need to remember that we don't yet know the health implications for long-haulers in the coming years
The study found that after the initial 30 days of COVID-19 infection, 4,757 (5.3%) of the patients experienced a decrease of 30% or more in glomerular filtration rates (GFR), which physicians use to assess kidney function and, if applicable, determine the severity of kidney disease. The rate is determined by a simple blood test that measures levels of creatinine, a waste product in the blood that is filtered by the kidneys and discarded into urine.
The study team found that individuals who had milder COVID-19 cases had 1.09 times the risk of having an estimated GFR decline of 30% or more.
In the case of hospitalized COVID-19 patients not in intensive care units, there was two times the risk of having an estimated GFR decrease of 30% or more, while intensive care unit patients were at three times the risk of experiencing an estimated GFR drop of 30% or more.
Dr Al-Aly explained, "The kidney damage was in excess of reduced function caused by normal aging. A 60-year-old's kidney function is less robust than the kidneys of a 20-year-old. The kidney function decline we've observed in these patients is not graceful aging. It is not normal anything. It is definitely a disease state.”
Dr Al-Aly concluded,” Kidney disease is one important facet of the multifaceted long COVID-19. It is a critical component of the long COVID-19 story, and it must be taken into account when caring for individuals with long COVID-19."
If it is true, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is indeed turning out to be the best bioweapon that the American DARPA agency and U.S.NIAID had ever created but sadly the creators lost control of it due to poor estimations that the virus would evolve..that too rapidly and also could not control its targeted spread. Alongside the blunder that occurred with the Chinese which intel on both sides knows and the resulting diplomatic cover ups, no one will ever get to know the real truth about the origins of the virus. The virus might not achieve high mortality rates immediately but it still achieves its goal by getting rid of its targets slowly and unsuspectingly like in the case of sudden heart failures or via the manifestation of various chronic medical conditions over time.
For more wonderful news about how the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus causes more long term damage to infected humans in what is known as Long COVID
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.
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