Researchers are warning patients with chronic kidney issues who also have very low serum zinc levels to stay on guard against infection. A new study shows these patients are especially vulnerable to hospitalization, particularly when compared to those who use proton pump inhibitors. Kidneys filter the blood of wastes and toxins, allowing them to be expelled through urine. If the kidneys operate at reduced function or fail completely, the patient has chronic kidney issues It affects 10% to 13% of the adult population.
Those with the condition are at a higher risk of cardiovascular complications and premature death. The study looked at 232 patients with stage 5 kidney issues, with 46 patients (20.6%) receiving dialysis. During a 36 month period, 40 of the patients were hospitalized with 60 infection-related events. These included respiratory, soft tissue, abdominal, bacterimia, urinary tract, bone and joint, and other causes.
Researchers found patients with low zinc levels (defined in this study as below a median of 50 µg/dL or less) had a higher rate of hospitalization with infection-related illnesses. Researchers said the normal serum of zinc is 59 135 µg/dL. They said they considered serum zinc values below normal if they were at 59 µg/dL. This was the case with 77.6% of patients.
Researchers say the use of proton pump inhibitors in those with chronic kidney problems lowers their zinc levels. This leaves them more vulnerable to infections. For more on the latest kidney topics, be sure to subscribe to the Healthy Kidney Inc. channel.