Alan S. Kliger, MD: Negative COVID-19 Outcomes Common in Kidney Disease Patients

September 30, 2020

A high proportion of end-stage kidney disease patients have suffered severe COVID-19 outcomes.

After about 8 months of research, it is safe to say kidney disease patients suffer more severe outcomes from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than the general population.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Alan S. Kliger, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine, explained what has been discovered in regard to how likely nephrology patients are to end up with the more severe COVID-19 outcomes.

Certain kidney disease patients are also at a greater risk of contracting the virus.

“We know that chronic kidney disease patients, including dialysis patients, are more likely to become infected,” Kliger said. “And we know if infected they have a substantially worse prognosis than people without kidney disease.”

Kliger, who is also co-chair of the American Society of Nephrology Covid-19 Response Team, explained patients with chronic kidney disease, especially patients with end-stage kidney disease, are more likely to be infected because they have impaired immune systems. Kliger also said it is difficult for individuals to socially distance while undergoing dialysis.

However, since the initial outbreaks in the US, doctors and health care facilities have targeted different safety measures in order to reduce the viral load for patients and professionals, including requiring masks, staggering appointment times, and regular COVID-19 screenings to isolate infected individuals.