Long-term exposure to air pollution may increase risk for kidney disease
DEC . 24 2020
Peking University, December 24, 2020: After estimating levels of fine particulate matter air pollution, researchers from China found neighborhoods with more pollution had an increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease and albuminuria.
“Ambient PM2.5 is suggested to be a novel potential environmental risk factor for CKD,” Li Guoxing, Ph.D. of the department of medicine at Peking University First Hospital and the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences at Peking University School of Public Health in Beijing, and colleagues wrote. “However, studies on the relationships between ambient PM2.5 exposure and risk of CKD are still limited, and almost all the evidence comes from countries or regions with low levels of PM2.5.
“With the consideration that ambient PM2.5 pollution is an environmental issue worldwide, especially in China, where high levels of PM2.5 remain a tremendous challenge, and CKD prevalence has rapidly increased in the recent years, the associations between long-term ambient PM2.5 exposure and the risk of CKD in the general Chinese population were investigated in this study.”
Including “a representative sample” of 47,204 adults, Li and colleagues estimated annual exposure to PM2.5 based on participant address (2-year PM2.5 concentration ranged from 31.3 g/m3 to 87.5 g/m3, with a mean concentration of 57.4 g/m3).
Results showed an increase of 10 g/m3 in PM2.5 was positively associated with CKD prevalence (odds ratio [OR] = 1.28) and albuminuria (OR = 1.39).
The likelihood of CKD was most pronounced for individuals living in urban areas, men, younger adults and those without comorbid diseases.
“Although ambient air quality has improved substantially during the past 5 years in China, the national annual particulate matter level in China exceeds the World Health Organization’s guideline,” Zhang Luxia, MD, MPH, investigator on the study, said in a related press release.
According to the researchers, these findings can be used by policy makers to help reduce the risk for CKD.
“This study revealed a significantly higher effect in urban areas than in rural areas, which provides insights for target PM2.5 pollution control,” they wrote.
“In addition, the risk [for CKD] started to increase at PM2.5 concentrations well below the Chinese ambient air quality standards, suggesting that air quality control should be more stringent in China.”