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Kidney failure significant cause of death

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PITTSBURGH, Aug 16, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The first multinational study of acute renal failure, or ARF, shows one in 20 intensive care unit patients develop a severe form of ARF and many will die.

Researchers analyzed data from 29,269 critical care patients at 54 medical centers in 23 countries over the span of 15 months. They found nearly 6 percent of the patients developed ARF while in the hospital, and of those patients, 60 percent died while hospitalized.

"It's interesting a person in any hospital, in any country has such a high risk of having kidney failure," said Dr. John Kellum, corresponding author of the paper and professor of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

"An estimated 5 million Americans will go to (intensive care units) this year, and if this number holds true, 250,000 will go into acute renal failure," Kellum said. "Compare this with the 100,000 Americans who will develop chronic renal failure this year and the numbers are staggering.

"And this is something we simply did not know, nor could we have predicted," Kellum said. "In fact, the numbers are much higher than had been predicted."

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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