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Pollution could cause kidney problems

Published on 14/05/2013

Heavy traffic pollution from vehicles could increase your chance of developing kidney problems, a US study has found.

Living near a main road may harm arteries

Researchers from America conducted a study on 1,100 patients and discovered that exhaust fumes could be responsible for harming the arteries connected to the kidneys.

The investigation was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and was conducted by Dr Murray Mittleman and his colleagues at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Scientists are already certain that lengthy exposure to fumes from vehicle exhausts increase the risk of circulatory disease such as heart attacks and stroke.

The kidney’s functioning was measured via the established test known as the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The lower the GFR the less efficient the kidneys are and could suggest kidney problems.

Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and reducing your alcohol intake all reduce the risk of kidney disease.

Out of the 1,100 patients, those who lived closest to main road showed poorer results on the GFR tests despite taking into account other factors such as underlying medical conditions and age.

Dr Tim Chico, a heart specialist at the University of Sheffield in the UK, said: "The importance of healthy kidneys is often overlooked, but many of the things that can damage the heart also affect these vital organs.”

Half of the stroke sufferers in the group analysed lived less than a 1km from a main road and the other half live between 1km and 10km away.

"Since we know traffic pollution increases the risk of heart disease, the message of this study - that traffic pollution might damage the kidneys - is perhaps to be expected,” Chico said.

A study of this type is preliminary and further research of different groups of people is needed to confirm the link between pollution and kidney disease.

Private medical insurance is not designed to cover chronic conditions. For more information, compare quotes online or speak to one of our expert advisors.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  Health InsuranceHealthMedical
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