Introduction: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common among intensive care unit (ICU) patients, but follow-up data on subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease remain sparse. We examined the impact of AKI on three-year risk of first-time heart failure, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke among ICU patients surviving to hospital discharge, and whether this risk is modified by renal recovery before hospital discharge.
Methods: We used population-based medical registries to identify all adult patients admitted to an ICU in Northern Denmark between 2005 and 2010 who survived to hospital discharge and who had no previous or concurrent diagnosis of heart failure, MI, or stroke. AKI was defined according to the creatinine criteria in the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes classification. We computed the three-year cumulative risk of hospitalization with heart failure, MI, and stroke for patients with and without AKI and the hazard ratios (HRs), using a Cox model adjusted for potential confounders.
Results: Among 21,556 ICU patients surviving to hospital discharge, 4,792 (22.2%) had an AKI episode. Three-year cumulative risk of heart failure was 2.2% in patients without AKI, 5.0% for AKI stage 1, and 5.0% for stages 2 to 3. The corresponding adjusted HRs were 1.33 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06 to 1.66) for patients with AKI stage 1 and 1.45 (95% CI, 1.14 to 1.84) for AKI stages 2 to 3, compared to patients without AKI. The three-year cumulative MI risk was 1.0% for patients without AKI, 1.8% for patients with AKI stage 1 and 2.3% for patients with AKI stages 2 to 3. The adjusted HR for MI was 1.04 (95% CI, 0.71 to 1.51) for patients with AKI stage 1 and 1.51 (95% CI, 1.05 to 2.18) for patients with AKI stages 2 to 3, compared with patients without AKI. We found no association between AKI and stroke. The increased risk of heart failure and MI persisted in patients with renal recovery before discharge, although it was less pronounced than in patients without renal recovery.
Conclusions: ICU patients surviving any stage of AKI are at increased three-year risk of heart failure, but not stroke. Only AKI stages 2 to 3 are associated with increased MI risk.