Patients with chronic kidney disease may be at an increased risk of experiencing complications when hospitalized, according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). This risk continues to rise as the severity of CKD increases.

A team led by Scott Klarenbach MD, MSc, and Babak Bohlouli, a PhD candidate at the University of Albertas examined information on 536,549 adults hospitalized from April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2008 from a population based cohort called the Alberta Kidney Disease Network. Of these patients, 8.5% had CKD, and they tended to be older and more likely to be admitted for circulatory system diseases than those without CKD.

After adjusting for various factors, patients with CKD were 19% more likely to experience hospital acquired complications than patients with normal kidney function. There was a graded relation between the risk of complications and CKD severity, with an 81% higher risk in those with the most severe CKD.

“Determining that patients with CKD are at greater risk of hospital complications will aid the development of targeted strategies to prevent such complications in this vulnerable patient population, and will improve quality of care,” said Bohlouli.