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Covid survivors are at 35% higher risk of long term kidney damage, says study

Researchers at the Veterans Health Administration looked at anonymous medical records from about 1.7 million veterans who were treated there between March 2020 and March 2021

The study looked at tens of thousands of Covid patients

People who caught Covid and survived are a third more likely to suffer kidney damage than those who never got infected, according to a new study.

And the disease can age the organs by decades, say researchers.

The study looked at 89,000 veterans who had beaten Covid as well as 1.6 million who had not become infected by the virus.

They found that those who had caught coronavirus were 35 per cent more likely to have a damaged kidney or loss of function in the organ.

Researchers at the Veterans Health Administration looked at anonymous medical records from about 1.7 million veterans who were treated there between March 2020 and March 2021.



Researchers are recommending medics be on the lookout for kidney problems in patients
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Image:

Getty Images)




Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, study senior author, told the New York Times that in their first six months post-infection, Covid patients had a 35 per cent higher chance of kidney damage compared to other patients.

They also had a 25 per cent higher risk for a 30 per cent decline in how the organ functions, compared with non-Covid patients.

Covid patients also had a 44 per cent higher risk of a 40 per cent decline in function, as well as a 62 per cent higher risk for a 50 per cent decline.





These increases mean Covid cases are comparable to ’30 years of kidney function decline,’ Dr. F Perry Wilson, a kidney researcher not involved with the VA study, told the publication.

The study also said the risk of a major adverse kidney event was 1.66 times higher with Covid patients.

“Covid is probably a little more of a kidney-toxic virus,’ Dr. Wilson said. “I do think that the Covid syndrome has some long-term adverse effects on the kidney.”









The study was published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The researchers noted the study’s applications may be limited, as the patients studied are mainly older white men, and many in the non-Covid group likely had other health problems.

But the scientists are recommending other doctors as well as researchers working with long Covid patients to be on the lookout for kidney disease.

‘What’s really important is that people realize that the risk is there and that physicians caring for post-Covid patients really pay attention to kidney function and disease,’ Dr Al-Aly said.




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