SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new study published about long-COVID is drawing attention to the risk coronavirus infections are having on declining kidney functions.
The study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology shows how patients infected with COVID are showing declining kidney functions, even those who weren't hospitalized.
The research assessed 89,000 veterans who survived COVID up to a year after diagnosis.
RELATED: Bay Area ICU doctor describes coronavirus patients 'pleading for vaccine' after being admitted
"Even though they had survived, they still continued to experience significant risk for kidney disease," said Dr. Shuchi Anand, a Stanford Healthcare nephrologist. "So they had double the risk for what we call acute kidney injury. So basically another episode where they were sick and their kidneys showed damage."
Dr. Anand explains among the study pool, on average there was a two-fold higher risk in substantial decline in kidney function.
RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Lab discovers root cause of confusion, fatigue experienced by COVID 'long haulers'
Stephanie: How would you define substantial decline in the context of this study?
Dr. Anand: "They use a different range of measures to define kidney decline but one important one for an average person is about a 50 percent decline in kidney function."
Anand says the largest risks were in people that had been ill in the ICU or hospitalized with COVID, but added even people who hadn't been hospitalized showed abnormal kidney functions.
RELATED: Stanford clinic aims to help 'COVID long-haulers' through symptoms months after diagnosis
"I would caution that it's not going to occur in every single person that got COVID. This is an average, a population average," Anand said. "It's probably more likely to occur in people who have other predisposing factors, people who are older, more frail, or could have diabetes or other illnesses."
Since the study is based on research of patients over the course of a year, Dr. Anand says it's possible over time some of these cases may show some recovery in kidney function.
Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map shows which counties can, can't reopen under reopening tiers
- Cheat sheet: What you can and can't do after being fully vaccinated
- How to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in every Bay Area county
- Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
- Interactive map shows what's closed and what's reopening in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Data tracker: Coronavirus cases, deaths, hospitalizations in every Bay Area county
- Third stimulus check calculator: See how much you could get
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- Get the latest updates on California EDD, stimulus checks, unemployment benefits
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic