As kidney function declines, infection risk rises, a new study shows.
Infections facing people with advanced kidney disease include lower respiratory tract disease, urinary tract infections and blood poisoning, researchers said.
The findings were published Aug. 17 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
“Given the fact that chronic kidney disease remains underdiagnosed and unrecognized in most societies, our findings may help patients and clinicians become more aware of chronic kidney disease and its complications,” said co-lead author Juan Jesus Carrero, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
“This in turn may be useful to identify patients at increased risk of infection and inform discussions about prevention strategies, such as vaccination and health service planning,” Carrero said in a journal news release.
The researchers tracked 12 months of data from 1.1 million Swedes who took part in a study examining measures of kidney function.
The researchers found that infection rates grew almost sixfold in people with stage 4 or higher chronic kidney disease, compared to people with normal kidney function. Several types of infection — lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and sepsis — made up a larger proportion of infections as kidney function worsened.
The study focused on infections that people develop in the community, not hospitals and other health care settings.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about kidney disease.