Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2022 Jul-Aug;33(4):574-581. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.388192.
The risk of hospital-acquired acute kidney injury (HA-AKI) depends on a person’s intrinsic susceptibility, the presence of risk factors, and on the type and extent of exposure to kidney insults. Older cohort studies have focused on male-only or mostly male populations, assuming a lower incidence of HA-AKI in women. Insufficient statistical power suggested that female sex was a shared susceptibility factor for HA-AKI. It was included as a risk factor in risk prediction models of HA-AKI. With the inclusion of women in clinical research studies, this presumption was challenged. Recent meta-analyses of sex-stratified studies showed that the risk for HA-AKI was significantly higher in men. These results suggested a protective role of female sex hormones. However, these studies were complicated by the inclusion of women across an age spectrum that includes the menopausal shift. Preliminary clinical and basic research data suggest that postmenopausal women lose their protection from HA-AKI. The number, size, and quality of reported clinical studies are low. There is an unmet need to characterize the susceptibility factor sex, to assess its clinical relevance and to evaluate renoprotection by sex hormone administration.