12 Feb 2014

Kidney failure deadly, study shows

4:02 pm on 12 February 2014

Study findings that more people die from acute kidney failure than cardiac arrest have surprised researchers.

A study by the Sydney-based George Institute for Global Health found 42 percent of people had died within three-and-a-half years of suffering a cardiac arrest, while 65 percent had died following acute kidney failure.

The study examined more than 1058 patients in New Zealand and Australia.

Leader Martin Gallagher said the care of patients after they had suffered kidney failure needed to improve.

"The biggest challenge is working out treatments that make a difference. We don't have proven treatment for acute kidney attacks that are proven to make a difference to the mortality rate, and that's what we need to find," Professor Gallagher said.

"So it's primarily a research challenge. There's also some clinical challenges."

Up to 50,400 Australians and more than 11,200 New Zealanders are diagnosed with acute kidney failure every year.