Air Pollution's Threat to Senior Citizens Kidneys

Air Pollution's Threat to Senior Citizens Kidneys

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There has been researched based studies that prove air pollution can create respiratory problems and new research suggests it can also cause chronic kidney disease (CKD) in seniors and others. 

"Similar to smoking, air pollution contains harmful toxins that can directly affect the kidneys," said Jennifer Bragg-Gresham, M.S., Ph.D., a Michigan Medicine epidemiologist and the study's lead author. "Kidneys have a large volume of blood flowing through them, and if anything harms the circulatory system, the kidneys will be the first to sense those effects."

The study was published in PLOS ONE and notes that those with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or heart disease have a higher chance of developing CKD. Those patients who also live in highly polluted areas would also be considered in the danger zones and should take precautions. 

"If you look at areas that are heavily polluted versus areas that are less polluted, you will find more chronic kidney disease,” said study co-author Rajiv Saran, M.D., a Michigan Medicine nephrologist and director of the United States Renal Data System Coordinating Center at U-M.

Air pollution comes from everyday activities including cooking, driving, industry and vehicle emissions and more. The toxic air contains heavy metals that makes a negative impact on the kidneys. 

CKD is very common in senior citizens and affects more than 20 million adults in the U.S. according to HealthInAging.org.

 

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Jodelle Maglaya
Jodelle Maglaya

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