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Nephrology

Elderly patients with chronic kidney disease face distinct challenges

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Elderly patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) exhibit distinct characteristics and face unique challenges compared to their younger counterparts, according to a new study which highlights that diabetic nephropathy and hypertension-related renal impairment are the leading causes of CKD in the elderly, unlike in non-elderly patients.

Elderly CKD patients also have a higher burden of comorbidities, which are associated with worse in-hospital outcomes and higher mortality rates.

Researchers analyzed medical records from 18 military hospitals spanning, including a total of 380,461 hospitalized patients, out of which 25,826 (6.8%) were diagnosed with CKD.

Among elderly patients, the top 3 causes were diabetic nephropathy (24.1%), hypertension-related renal impairment (20.9%), and primary glomerular disease (11.1%). This contrasted with the causes in non-elderly patients, highlighting a distinct disease profile in the elderly population.

Furthermore, the study found that elderly patients with CKD were more likely to have multiple comorbidities, with 71.6% of them having more than one accompanying medical condition. The number of comorbidities increased with age, indicating a higher burden of diseases in elderly CKD patients. Notably, in-hospital mortality rates were significantly higher in the elderly group compared to their younger counterparts (3.3% vs 1.0%).

Reference
Liang S, Wang Y, Wang WL, et al. Characteristics of hospitalized elderly patients with CKD: a comparison between elderly and non-elderly CKD based on a multicenter cross-sectional study. Int Urol Nephrol. 2023;doi: 10.1007/s11255-023-03675-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37450242.

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