Air Pollution’s Damaging Effect On Kidneys A Global Epidemic

Researchers have found proof air pollution has a negative effect on organs other than the lungs. In this case, researchers from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the US, Tsinghua University in China and the Swiss Data Science Centre in Switzerland found links to kidney disease and sepsis.

The kidneys are the body’s blood filters, removing waste material from the blood and allowing the waste to be excreted through urine. If the kidneys are damaged or impaired in any way the waste
materials build up in the blood. This can cause illness, organ damage and eventually death.

Sepsis is a condition caused by the body’s own chemical response to infections; here, the chemicals cause inflammation. Researchers are concerned with an increased amount of PM2.5 in the air. PM2.5 is a classification of fine particulate matter of solid and liquid pollutants which are smaller than 2.5 micrograms.

95 million hospital patients over 65 were looked at for the study. The results showed these individuals had increased risk of heart and lung conditions because of air pollution, but also were at greater risk for kidney failure, sepsis and urinary tract infections. Researchers used a large database containing the information of these admitted to the hospital under Medicare between the year 2000 to 2012. 95,277,169 people were analyzed for this study, all over the age of 65.

Patients exposure to air pollution had been measured the day before and the day after they were admitted to the hospital. This information was compared to exposure to air pollution on the same day of the week for the rest of the month and year. For more information about external factors effecting kidney health, be sure to read some of our older articles on the subject.