BACKGROUND: Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are a common reason for people to seek medical care. RTIs are associated with high short-term mortality. Inconsistent evidence exists in the association between the presence of kidney disease and the risk of death in patient with RTIs.
METHODS: We searched the PubMed, Cochrane Library and Embase databases from inception through April 2019 for cohort and case-control studies investigating the presence of kidney disease (defined as medical diagnosis of kidney disease, reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate or creatinine clearance, elevated serum creatinine and proteinuria) on mortality in adults with RTIs in different settings including community, inpatient and intensive care units. We assessed the quality of the included studies using Cochrane Collaboration's tool and conducted a meta-analysis on the relative risk (RR) of death.
RESULTS: Of 5362 records identified, 18 studies involving 16 676 participants met the inclusion criteria, with 15 studies investigating pneumonia and 3 studies exploring influenza. The risk of bias in the available evidence was moderate. Most [17/18 (94.5%)] of studies reported positive associations of underlying chronic kidney disease with mortality. The pooled adjusted risk for all-cause mortality in patients with RTIs almost doubled [RR 1.96 (95% confidence interval 1.48-2.59)] in patients with kidney disease. Associations were consistent across different timings of kidney disease assessment and provenances of RTIs (community-acquired or healthcare-associated).
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of kidney disease is associated with higher mortality among people with RTIs, especially in those with pneumonia. The presence of kidney disease might be taken into account when considering admission for patients who present with RTIs.