Investigators found a positive link between county-level fine particulate matter concentration and a diagnosis of CKD, according to results published in PLoS One.
“Despite methodologic limitations, findings from this study and others suggest that air pollution may be a risk factor for chronic kidney disease,” Hal Morgenstern, PhD, told Healio/Nephrology. “In addition to patient factors and treatments, environmental factors may help to explain the appreciable geographic variability in CKD prevalence across the United States.”
Morgenstern and colleagues assessed correlations between county-level particulate matter of 2.5 m (PM2.5) or less and the prevalence of diagnosed CKD using data on 1.1 million people from the 2010 5% Medicare sample and Environmental Protection Agency air-quality measures. Correlations between county PM2.5 concentration and individual-level diagnosis of CKD, when adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, hypertension, diabetes and urban/rural status, were estimated with modified Poisson regression.
By county, the prevalence of diagnosed CKD was between 0% and 60%.
Researchers wrote, “As a continuous variable, PM2.5 concentration shows adjusted [prevalence ratio] PR of diagnosed CKD [equal to] 1.03 ... for an increase of 4 g/m3 in PM2.5.”
There was an elevated prevalence of diagnosed CKD for a mean PM2.5 level of 14 g/m3 or greater, based on an investigation by quartiles. Researchers noted this was consistent with the current standard ambient air quality of 12 g/m3; however, it was lower than the level considered healthy for sensitive groups. – by Monica Jaramillo
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.