In a recent study, researchers found that air pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.
They found that air pollution contains harmful toxins that can directly affect the kidneys.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Michigan.
Previous research has shown that polluted air can increase the risk of respiratory problems such as asthma.
It can also increase organ inflammation, worsen of diabetes and other chronic health conditions.
For example, one recent study has shown that even low levels of air pollution are linked to changes in the structure of the heart.
These heart changes are similar to those seen in the early stages of heart failure.
Another study found that air pollution is linked to an increased risk of developing dementia.
People who lived in polluted areas had higher risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
In the current study, the team found that air pollution can also fuel chronic kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease occurs when a person’s kidneys become damaged or cannot filter blood properly.
Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease are risk factors of developing the condition.
That is why high-risk patients who live in heavily populated or polluted areas may have worse kidney health.
In the study, the researchers found that air pollution contains fine particulate matter or PM2.5.
These particles can stay in the air longer, and people may unavoidably inhale them on a regular basis without knowing it.
The team reviewed Medicare claims data and air-quality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They found a strong link between chronic kidney disease and PM2.5 concentration.
The team suggests that air pollution also contains heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, which may negatively affect the kidneys.
Although the research was only able to examine a small range of PM2.5 values present in America, the finding suggests that it is important to take precautions when exposed to air pollution.
People who live in heavily polluted areas need to consider wearing masks that cover nose and mouth, limit hours outside and reduce long hours commuting to work in high traffic.
The lead author of the study is Jennifer Bragg-Gresham, M.S., Ph.D., a Michigan Medicine epidemiologist.
The study is published in PLOS One.
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