(HealthDay News) — Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in 7% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and is associated with increased in-hospital mortality, according to a study published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Yichun Cheng, MD, from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and colleagues examined the incidence, risk factors, and prognosis of AKI in 1392 adults with COVID-19 in a retrospective cohort study.

The researchers found that 7% of patients developed AKI during hospitalization; 40% of these cases (40 of 99) occurred within 1 week of admission. Severe disease, higher serum creatinine, lymphopenia, and elevated D-dimer were associated with a higher risk for AKI (odds ratios, 2.25, 2.19, 1.99, and 2.68, respectively). In patients with AKI stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3, in-hospital mortality was 62, 77, and 80%, respectively. Even after adjustment for confounders, AKI was associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 5.12).

“Prior to this study, there was limited information concerning epidemiological characteristics and outcomes associated with AKI in patients with COVID-19,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our results indicate that AKI is strongly associated with mortality, and that careful monitoring of AKI is necessary early in the course of infection.”

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Cheng Y, Luo R, Wang X, et al. The Incidence, Risk Factors, and Prognosis of Acute Kidney Injury in Adult Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol.

Siew ED, Birkelo BC. COVID-19–Associated Acute Kidney Injury. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol.