Protein Signals Acute Kidney Injury Risk

BALTIMORE, Aug. 2 (UPI) — Acute kidney injury, deterioration of kidney function in a short period of time, may arise as a complication during hospitalization, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say acute kidney injury, which can occur in individuals hospitalized for other causes, can lead to end-stage kidney disease and even premature death. The serious kidney ailments are being increasingly common and occur in about 1.6 percent of all hospitalizations in the United States, the researchers say.

Dr. Morgan Grams, the lead author, said the researchers looked at risk factors in the general population by tracking 11,200 individuals for eight years and found two markers for increased risk — the usual increases in kidney risk with decreases in estimated glomerular filtration rate and albumninuria.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, found albumninuria — the presence of the protein albumnin in the urine — was associated with almost a five-fold increased risk of developing acute kidney injury.

“The results suggest that a person’s risk profile for acute kidney injury depends not only on eGFR, which is the basis of the current kidney disease staging system, but also on levels of albuminuria,” Grams said in a statement.

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