A new study from University of Michigan reveals an association between air pollution and higher rates of chronic kidney disease. Using 2010 Medicare data from 1.1 million people, the researchers examined CKD prevalence by county and found greater incidence of the disease even with relatively low pollution levels in the range of 8.4 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter. World Health Organization guidelines suggest that cities work to keep particulate matter at 20 micrograms per cubic meter or less. Pollution levels greater than 40 micrograms per cubic meter are considered unhealthy for sensitive individuals, such as those with lung disease, older adults, and children. The investigators believe future studies should examine the components of particulate matter (sulfates, nitrates, metals, etc.), individual pollution exposure, and lab-based levels of CKD.
Air Pollution Associated with Higher Rates of Chronic Kidney Disease, Medical Xpress, November 15, 2014