Effect of multiple episodes of Acute Kidney Injury on mortality: an observational study

Heather Walker (Lead / Corresponding author), Nicosha De Souza, Simona Hapca, Miles D. Witham, Samira Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Patients who survive an episode of acute kidney injury (AKI) are more likely to have further episodes of AKI. AKI is associated with increased mortality, with a further increase with recurrent episodes. It is not clear whether this is due to AKI or as a result of other patient characteristics. The aim of this study was to establish whether recurrence of AKI is an independent risk factor for mortality, or if excess mortality is explained by other factors.

Methods: This observational cohort study included adult people from the Tayside region of Scotland, with an episode of AKI during 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2009. AKI was defined using the creatinine based Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes definition. Associations between recurrent AKI and mortality were examined using a Cox proportional hazards model.

Results: Survival was worse in the group identified to have recurrent AKI compared to those with a single episode of AKI (hazard ratio 1.49; 95%CI 1.37-1.63, p<0.001). After adjustment for co-morbidities, stage of reference AKI, sex, age, medicines that predispose to renal impairment or, in the three months prior to the reference AKI, deprivation and baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), recurrent AKI was independently associated with an increase in mortality (hazard ratio 1.25; 95%CI 1.14-1.37, p<0.001). Increasing stage of reference AKI, age, deprivation, baseline eGFR, male sex, previous MI, cerebrovascular disease and diuretic use were all associated with an increased risk of mortality in patients with recurrent AKI.

Conclusions: Recurrent AKI is associated with increased mortality. After adjusting for patient characteristics the increase in mortality is independently associated with recurrent AKI and is not solely explained by other risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-703
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Kidney Journal
Issue number2
Early online date10 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Recurrent Acute Kidney Injury
  • Mortality
  • Survival
  • Risk factors


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