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Karen Blum

WASHINGTON, DC – Air pollution, water pollutants, and global warming are among the environmental factors contributing to the development of kidney disease, according to a presenter at Kidney Week 2019.

The evidence is strongest for air pollution, said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, FASN, chief of research and education for the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System in St. Louis. Fine particles of air pollutants less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter—about 1/20th the width of a human hair—can get into the capillaries when inhaled and exert effects on the body, he said. Common sources of such PM2.5 air pollution include land traffic (cars and trucks), power generation, residential energy, and biomass burning, as well as natural sources, such as forest fires.

Karen Blum

WASHINGTON, DC -- Biopsies remain the gold standard for diagnosing post-transplant kidney disease but they are imperfect, a speaker said here during Kidney Week 2019. Emerging biomarkers may provide a complement to helping nephrologists diagnose and manage disease. The session entitled, "Needle Phobia: Kidney Transplant Biopsy Alternatives" , included four speakers on the topic.

Karen Blum

WASHINGTON, DC – Children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have structural changes in the brain associated with poorer intelligence, executive function and academic achievement, compared to healthy children without the disease, according to new research from the University of Iowa presented at Kidney Week 2019 in a session entitled, “Pediatric CKD Is Associated with Abnormal White Matter Integrity” .

Karen Blum

WASHINGTON, DC – Kidney transplant recipients have an imbalance of gut bacteria marked by a lower diversity of organisms and increased levels of Proteobacteriae such as Escherichia coli compared with healthy renal donors, according to new research presented at Kidney Week 2019.

The study, comparing composition of the gut microbiome in 139 renal transplant recipients and 105 healthy donors, found over 195 significant differences throughout the taxonomy, said lead author J.C. Swarte, PhD, of University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands (Abstract SA-OR103). This included 37 significant differences at the genus level and 135 significant differences at the species level. Recipients who had diarrhea (n=28) had even lower gut diversity.

Karen Blum

WASHINGTON, DC – The effects of plant-based diets and phosphorous restriction on kidney disease were the subject of two talks presented at Kidney Week 2019.

Plant-based diets may be good for people with kidney disease, said Juan Jesus Carrero, MD, PharmD, PhD, a professor of epidemiology with the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Plant proteins had been viewed as having low biological value, he said, because when dietary guidelines were issued, it was believed impossible to acquire complete essential amino acids from plant foods. However, numerous trials and meta analyses conducted over the past 20 years have proved that theory wrong. Fruit and vegetable intake has been shown to offer numerous health benefits such as lowering the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and death, and delaying the progression of kidney disease.