People with diabetes may be particularly susceptible to acute kidney injury when taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to new research presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined virtual conference.

Short-term use of NSAIDs, which include aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil), and naproxen (such as Aleve), is linked to kidney damage and hyperkalemia (high potassium levels), said Cynthia C. Lim, M.D., and colleagues from Singapore General Hospital.

The investigators followed a cohort of more than 3,800 hospitalized patients who had new drug prescriptions. When participants received a more than 14-day supply of NSAIDs, they had a 65% greater risk for acute kidney disease or high potassium levels within 30 days. What’s more, prescribing an NSAID together with a diuretic or renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitor was tied to a fourfold increase in the odds of kidney damage or hyperkalemia.

Adjusted results showed that patients who had cardiovascular disease, RAASi use, diuretic use, and elevated potassium at the study’s start had 41%, 42%, 91%, and 36% increased risks for the acute kidney injury and high potassium findings, respectively.