A new National Kidney Foundation-Harris poll on COVID-19 and kidney health indicates less than one in five Americans are aware that kidneys can fail due to coronavirus.
“A significant number of patients going into the hospital to be treated for COVID-19 are coming out as kidney patients,” Kevin Longino, CEO of the NKF and a kidney transplant patient, said in a press release. “We believe this may be a looming health care crisis that will put a greater strain on hospitals, dialysis clinics and patients, for whom chronic kidney disease will be a lasting remnant of the coronavirus crisis — even after a vaccine is hopefully found.”
The NKF said the findings showed “surprisingly low levels of awareness” on both the risk of developing an AKI as a result of COVID-19, as well as the long-term effects of kidney damage.
According to the survey results, 17% of Americans are aware of acute kidney injury as a result of COVID-19; considerably less than awareness of acute respiratory failure (58%), pneumonia (54%) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (52%).
The survey findings also showed low levels of awareness on both the risks of AKI, as well as the long-term effects of kidney damage. Less than half of Americans in the survey (46%) are aware that COVID-19 will likely result in a higher number of Americans with chronic kidney disease and/or kidney failure, the NKF said.
The survey was fielded online among a nationally representative sample of 2,039 U.S. adults from May 1 to May 3, 2020.