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Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

NIH highlights lifelong impacts of acute kidney injury

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bill Polglase

In observance of World Kidney Day on March 14, the National Institutes of Health is raising awareness of the long term effects of acute kidney injury (AKI) - a sudden loss of kidney function. Research funded by the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) suggests survivors of AKI have a lifelong increased risk for developing permanent kidney damage, resulting in decreased kidney function.

While rates of AKI are highest among hospitalized patients and people with existing kidney problems, AKI can also occur in people with normally functioning kidneys - usually as a result of illness, injury, or certain medicines. Rates of severe AKI are growing. Over the past decade, the U.S. rate of AKI requiring dialysis has increased by 10 percent each year and the associated deaths have more than doubled, according to an NIDDK-supported study.

"We now know acute kidney injury is not the isolated or temporary condition we once believed it to be. However, in many cases, it is preventable and treatable," said Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., NIDDK director. "We must continue to support research to help us better understand the connection between acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease, to prevent acute kidney injury in those at risk, and to identify and treat the condition when it does occur."

NIDDK supports several research and education initiatives to improve the prevention and treatment of AKI and to better understand the effects of the disease:

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the NIH, conducts and supports basic and clinical research and research training on some of the most common, severe, and disabling conditions affecting Americans. NIDDK's research interests include diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. For more information on chronic kidney disease and medicines, visit the NKDEP Medicines and Kidney Disease website,

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Page last updated: April 3, 2013