Exposure to particulate matter air pollution is responsible for more than 10.7 million cases of the development of chronic kidney disease per year, according to a new study led by Benjamin Bowe, MPH, of Clinical Epidemiology Center at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System.
This new work builds on earlier work by Bowe and fellow researchers that found an association between exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate air pollution and the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
The press release provides more:
“In their latest research, the investigators used the Global Burden of Disease study methodologies to estimate the burden of CKD attributable to air pollution. The estimated global burden of incident CKD attributable to fine particulate matter was more than 10.7 million cases per year. Epidemiologic measures of the burden of CKD attributable to air pollution including years living with disability (meaning years living with kidney disease), years of life lost (meaning early death attributable to kidney disease), and disability-adjusted life years (a measure that combines the burden of living with the disease and the early death caused by the disease) suggest that the burden varies greatly by geography, with higher values seen in Central America and South Asia.”
“Air pollution might at least partially explain the rise in incidence of CKD of unknown origin in many geographies around the world, and the rise in Mesoamerican nephropathy in Mexico and Central America,” explained Bowe.
Exposure to “elevated” levels of particulate matter air pollution is associated with a wide variety of other diseases and health problems as well, of course — so the likes of chronic kidney disease is simply joining a long list of reasons that a move away from petrol/gas and diesel cars, as well as coal-fired power plants, would benefit public health greatly.