There are many known contributors to chronic kidney diseases. But could the street, city, or even state where you live contribute too?
The answer may be yes, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). This provides a strong argument that sometimes moving house can save you from CKD.
Most countries are struggling with extreme air pollution in their cities, as people flock to them from rural areas. Industrialized countries such as China and India have started struggling with pollution in huge megacities because of all the gases emitted by factories and vehicles.
Thus, it is understandable that Chinese researchers from Peking University decided to study the link between air pollution and chronic kidney disease, given that an association has already been established linking pollution to heart and respiratory diseases, including lung cancer.
The pollution that threatens our health is usually called fine particulate matter, or PM2.5. This means that the solid and liquid particles in the air are 2.5 micrometers or smaller. One of your hairs is 30 times this size.
The Chinese scientists used data collected by China’s National Survey of Chronic Kidney Disease, a study with 47,204 adult subjects.
They obtained each subjects’ address and used satellite information to estimate the amount of PM2.5 to which they had been exposed for two years.
Around 10.8% of their subjects had chronic kidney disease, from mild to severe.
The scientists found that people living in areas with high levels of fine particulate matter were much more likely to have chronic kidney disease than their peers who lived in areas with cleaner air.
To be precise, each increase of 10 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter of air increased a participant’s risk of chronic kidney disease by 30%.
But air pollution isn’t the only pollution that causes CKD. There is also pollution in your food, in your cleaning products, and in many other places that you wouldn’t even think of. Plus, there are specific foods and other lifestyle factors that directly destroy your kidneys.