Saturday, 20 January 2018

Air Pollution Linked to Kidney Disease

Air pollution is well known to be a health hazard, hence the drive in many countries to switch to lead free petrol and improve the way deisel engines work to reduce dangerous exhaust fumes. And of course fuel efficient cars giving higher miles per gallon means less fuel being burnt, which automatically reduces your car's contribution to pollution. So don't drive around in large engined gas guzzlers!

And, unfortunately, now we can add kidney disease to the problems caused by pollution.

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Society of Neprology followed 2,482,737 veterans for an average of 8 and a half years (so quite a big long-term study, which increases the accuracy of the results).

Combining data from NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency, their detailed analyses showed a linear relationship between PM2.5 (a class of partical size) concentrations and risk of kidney outcomes. Exposure estimates derived from National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite data yielded consistent results. Our findings demonstrate a significant association between exposure to PM2.5 and risk of incident CKD, eGFR decline, and ESRD.

Experimental laboratory evidence suggests that exposure to deep exhaust particles leads to disturbances in renal hemodynamics, promotes oxidative stress, inflammation, and DNA damage in renal tissue, exacerbates AKI, and further promulgates chronic renal injury in murine models. And now they've shown the risk to humans is just as real. They calculated that pollution was resulting in an annual increase of 44,793 cases of CKD, with 2,438 cases requring dialysis.

It's great to see the work of NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency being put to such good use, to increase public awareness of the health risks of airborne pollution.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Cooking for kidney dialysis patients during the holidays

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I  thought you might be interested in this news item.

 Kidney disease affects a surprisingly high number of adults; 30 million Americans.

Because of this, DaVita Dialysis recently launched a Game Day Cookbook, which includes a number of healthy options for football fans.

They even some great Thanksgiving recommendations.

Each recipe is tailored to those coping with chronic kidney disease, but it also great for all to munch on.

There's an interesting video on this subject here has a selection of books on diets for dialysis patients - take a look.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Home dialysis a big relief for kidney disease sufferers

We don't limit our news to just the UK and US, even though a lot of it seems to focus on these two locations.

More than 720 Emiratis per million and more than 320 people per million of the general population in the United Arab Emerates suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), a nephrologist said in December. Around 1,600 people are currently undergoing dialysis with end-stage kidney disease.

One of the most important developments in managing kidney disease has been the home dialysis system, which has provided relief to geriatric, disabled and child patients for whom going to the hospital twice every week for dialysis posed a problem. Nearly 66 patients in Abu Dhabi are getting home dialysis and a couple of patients in Dubai have also enrolled.

You can read more here

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Daily Vitamin D Does Not Improve or Prevent Anemia

There is a believe that since patients with anemia are low in vitamin D, taking vitamin D daily will help reduce the problem. Not so says some recent research.

The articles linked to above studied data from a trial on the Effect of Vitamin D on Mortality in Heart Failure. It's conclusion was that a daily supplement does not prevent or improve aneia in patients with advanced heart failure, including those with chronic kideny disease.

This result is a little bit controversial because “Our data challenge the clinical relevance of vitamin D supplementation to increase Hb levels,” Dr Zitterman and his colleagues stated. The results disagree with a recent meta-analysis on the subject purporting vitamin D benefits, but agree with several other randomized controlled trials.

We will have to wait for more research on this topic. However it doesn't mean you should instantly stop taking vitamin D if it is perscribed by your doctor at the present moment.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Imaging Technique Helps to Prevent Kidney Disease

We have probably all heard of MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (a spin off modification from the widely used Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy technique used by many research chemists, and the main tool I used in my PhD and other research in chemistry). Now, a variation on MRI can be used to detect kidney damage. The technique was developed by Osaka University researchers, in collaboration with several Japanese companies

The variation is called Diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) and ..."is ideal for detecting kidney damage, because the main functions of the kidney are all related to water movement,” explains Osaka University Professor and Surgeon Shiro Takahara. (Water in the target is what the MRI process is actually recording in the image maps shown as an MRI scan.) The article itself (linked to above) is a bit technically orientated unfortunately.

The technique is very useful as patients with diabetes are well-known to beat a high risk of developing chronic kidney disease. To identify which diabatic patients have higher risk, non-invasive technologies such as MRI are useful because they can detect abnormal perfusion in the kidneys, which could be signs of renal fibrosis, which is an early sign of kidney failure.

At the present moment, the technique is still at the development stage, but if further refined could be rolled out as a useful diagnostic technique.