APOL1 risk variants, acute kidney injury, and death in participants with African ancestry hospitalized with COVID-19 from the Million Veteran Program

JAMAHung AM, Shah SC, Bick AG, et al. | February 01, 2022


Researchers examined if the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) and death following hospitalization for COVID-19 is higher among individuals with African ancestry with 2 copies of apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) variants G1 or G2 (high-risk group).

  • In this retrospective cohort study, a total of 990 participants with African ancestry enrolled in the Million Veteran Program, who were hospitalized with COVID-19, were retrospectively studied.

  • APOL1 high-risk genotypes were evident in 1 in 8 of the participants.

  • Among those with high-risk genotypes, development of AKI occurred in 51.2%, and death was recorded for 19.2%, suggesting that high-risk genotype may be linked with a 2-fold increase in the odds of severe AKI and death.

  • Even patients with normal kidney function prior to COVID-19 were noted to be at increased risk.

Read the full article on JAMA