The study, published in the journal Anesthesiology, looked at more than 15,000 patients having major, non-heart surgery and found seven independent risk factors for developing post-surgical kidney failure:
-- Obesity, a body mass index more than 30.
-- Older age, patients over age 59.
-- Chronic lung disease due to smoking, also called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
-- Peripheral vascular disease, often related to smoking.
-- Liver disease, often related to excessive alcohol use.
-- Emergency surgery and certain "high-risk" surgical procedures.
-- Use of certain drugs during surgery, including diuretics.
The more risk factors present, the higher the risk of kidney failure. For patients with three or more risk factors, the risk of acute renal failure was more than 4 percent.
"We have also been able to demonstrate that the development of acute renal failure after general surgery is associated with a marked increase in mortality, independent of the patient's underlying diseases," study leader Dr. Sachin Kheterpal of the University of Michigan Medical School, said in statement.