Objective: To evaluate whether the incidence of infectious diseases increases the long-term risk for incident end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the general population. Patients and Methods: In 10,290 participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study who attended visit 4 (1996-1998), we evaluated the association of incident hospitalization with major infections (pneumonia, urinary tract infection, bloodstream infection, and cellulitis and osteomyelitis) with subsequent risk for ESRD through September 30, 2015. Hospitalization with major infection was entered into multivariable Cox models as a time-varying exposure to estimate the hazard ratios. Results: Mean age was 63 years, and of 10,290 individuals, 56% (n=5781) were women, 22% (n=2252) were black, and 7% (n=666) had an estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2. During a median follow-up of 17.4 years, there were 2642 incident hospitalizations with major infection and 281 cases of ESRD (132 cases after hospitalization with major infection). The risk for ESRD was higher following major infection compared with while free of major infection (crude incidence rate, 10.9 vs 1.0 per 1000 person-years). In multivariable time-varying Cox analysis, hospitalization with major infection was associated with a 3.3-fold increased risk for ESRD (hazard ratio, 3.34; 95% CI, 2.56-4.37). The association was similar across pneumonia, urinary tract infection, bloodstream infection, and cellulitis and osteomyelitis, and remained significant across subgroups of age, sex, race, diabetes, history of cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Conclusion: Hospitalization with major infection was independently and robustly associated with subsequent risk for ESRD. Whether preventive approaches against infection have beneficial effects on kidney outcomes may deserve future investigations.
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