Dr. Al-Aly speaks about recent JASN article: "Particulate Matter Air Pollution and the Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD"

By ASN Staff

A recent study was published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) entitled “Particulate Matter Air Pollution and the Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD” on September 21, 2017.

JASN has provided full access to the study. Please access it on the JASN website.

To get a behind-the-scenes look into the recent study, Kidney News Online asked Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, the senior author and director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System to answer several questions about the findings and what they mean for the future.
 

1. How would you briefly describe the findings of this study?

We used data from the environmental protection agency to evaluate the relationship between exposure to air pollution and risk of development of kidney disease in a cohort of 2.5 million US Veterans followed for 9 years. The findings show that there is a significant relationship between exposure to air pollution and the risk of developing kidney disease and its progression to end stage kidney disease. We also saw that there was no safe level of air pollution, even levels below the EPA threshold of 12 microgram/m3 were associated with risk. We then repeated all the analyses using NASA satellite data (in lieu of EPA data) and we saw the same exact results. 

 

2. What do you believe is the importance of the findings?

The findings matter because they tell us for the first time that air pollution is a risk factor for development and progression of kidney disease. This may explain why kidney disease is so prevalent in some areas of the US and also globally, and may help us better understand the contribution of air pollution to global epidemiology of CKD.

 

3. And for which groups does it matter? Kidney disease patients, the general public, physicians?

It matters to every person who breathes air. It matters to all of us. It matters to people with kidney disease and to those who want to avoid having kidney disease, it matters to physicians, to scientists, to policy makers, to government officials, and to public health officials. 

 

4. What affect do you think your team’s proof of these findings will have on the future of polluting or treating patients?

We think the findings will:

a) promote awareness of air pollution as a risk factor for kidney disease,

b) help us identify hot spots around the world where air pollution is driving some of the epidemiology of kidney disease,

c) the findings will help spur action among relevant stakeholders both in the US and globally to motivate further improvement in air quality,

d) the findings also challenge the EPA recommended level of 12 microgram/m3, and suggest that no level is safe, providing ground for downward revision of the EPA level. 

 

If you have any further questions on this study or the broader topic, please contact info@kidneynews.org, or Dr. Al-Aly directly at zalaly@gmail.com.

 

DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2017030253

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ASN Staff
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A recent study was published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) entitled “Particulate Matter Air Pollution and the Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD” on September 21, 2017.

JASN has provided full access to the study. Please access it on the JASN website.

To get a behind-the-scenes look into the recent study, Kidney News Online asked Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, the senior author and director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System to answer several questions about the findings and what they mean for the future.
 

1. How would you briefly describe the findings of this study?

We used data from the environmental protection agency to evaluate the relationship between exposure to air pollution and risk of development of kidney disease in a cohort of 2.5 million US Veterans followed for 9 years. The findings show that there is a significant relationship between exposure to air pollution and the risk of developing kidney disease and its progression to end stage kidney disease. We also saw that there was no safe level of air pollution, even levels below the EPA threshold of 12 microgram/m3 were associated with risk. We then repeated all the analyses using NASA satellite data (in lieu of EPA data) and we saw the same exact results. 

 

2. What do you believe is the importance of the findings?

The findings matter because they tell us for the first time that air pollution is a risk factor for development and progression of kidney disease. This may explain why kidney disease is so prevalent in some areas of the US and also globally, and may help us better understand the contribution of air pollution to global epidemiology of CKD.

 

3. And for which groups does it matter? Kidney disease patients, the general public, physicians?

It matters to every person who breathes air. It matters to all of us. It matters to people with kidney disease and to those who want to avoid having kidney disease, it matters to physicians, to scientists, to policy makers, to government officials, and to public health officials. 

 

4. What affect do you think your team’s proof of these findings will have on the future of polluting or treating patients?

We think the findings will:

a) promote awareness of air pollution as a risk factor for kidney disease,

b) help us identify hot spots around the world where air pollution is driving some of the epidemiology of kidney disease,

c) the findings will help spur action among relevant stakeholders both in the US and globally to motivate further improvement in air quality,

d) the findings also challenge the EPA recommended level of 12 microgram/m3, and suggest that no level is safe, providing ground for downward revision of the EPA level. 

 

If you have any further questions on this study or the broader topic, please contact info@kidneynews.org, or Dr. Al-Aly directly at zalaly@gmail.com.

 

DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2017030253

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Date:
Tuesday, October 3, 2017