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Environmental chemicals causing chronic kidney disease identified
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2020.06.08 15:14
  • Updated 2020.06.08 15:14
  • comments 0

Researchers at Seoul National University Boramae Hospital have identified environmental compounds that can increase the prevalence of chronic kidney diseases.

From right, Professors Lee Jeong-hwan, Lee Jung-pyo, and Oh So-hee

The team, led by Professors Lee Jeong-hwan, Lee Jung-pyo, and Oh So-hee, found the substances after analyzing the urine and blood of 46,748 adults who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2016.

The researchers confirmed that seven out of 262 chemicals found in the patients’ urine and blood samples had a significant effect on the development of chronic kidney diseases, such as the decline of epidermal growth factor receptor (eGFR) levels and proteinuria.

Among the seven chemicals discovered through this study, volatile organic compounds, along with heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, were found to significantly increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.

The team also analyzed the impact of each chemical on the development of kidney disease through an environmental-wide association study, which looked into the association of environmental chemicals with specific conditions. It found that lead in blood was associated with a decrease in eGFR levels, while cadmium in the blood was related to both proteinuria and eGFR reduction.

The researchers also confirmed the association between volatile organic chemicals such as furan and chronic kidney disease.

“This study confirmed that among various environmental chemicals, an increase in the concentration of organic chemicals, such as furan, as well as heavy metals was an independent risk factor in chronic kidney disease,” Professor Lee said.

Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology published the study in its May edition.


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