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Study: Even Mild COVID Can Lead to Kidney Problems Later

New paper used data from more than 1M veterans
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2021 2:32 PM CDT
Study: Even Mild COVID Can Lead to Kidney Problems Later
A healthcare worker prepares a dialysis machine to be used for COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit at the Joseph Imbert Hospital Center in Arles, southern France, Wednesday, April 15, 2020.   (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

(Newser) – The longer we live with the COVID pandemic, the more we learn. And plenty of what we learn is far from encouraging. The latest finding is that COVID survivors are at greater risk of kidney damage. The study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology took data from 1.7 million veterans, more than 89,000 of whom were 30-day COVID survivors and found they were at greater risk of kidney trouble. “People who are at highest risk are the people who really had” a bad case of COVID to start with, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a nephrologist and one of the study’s authors, told the New York Times.

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But even cases that were mild enough that patients never went to the hospital still put people at risk for kidney disease later, Bloomberg reports. The study shows 7.8 extra people needing dialysis or a kidney transplant per 10,000 of these patients—the ones who didn’t have severe cases. That number gets to be pretty high when you consider millions and millions of people in the US have had COVID. "It’s just a matter of time before we see all of these people hitting the clinics, needing dialysis, needing transplantation,” Al-Aly told Bloomberg. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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