MEDICC Review, a quarterly peer-reviewed public health journal, dedicated a special issue to new research and viewpoints on the epidemic of CKDu.
La Isla Foundation CEO and co-founder Jason Glaser and Senior Director of Public Health and Policy Ilana Weiss together contributed a viewpoint article: “CKDu: Strategies for Saving Lives Now.”
Glaser also co-authored the viewpoint article “Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology: A Disease Related to Global Warming?,” and Weiss co-authored a research article entitled “Risk Factors for Reduced Glomerular Filtration Rate in a Nicaraguan Community Affected by Mesoamerican Nephropathy.”[/infobox]
The epidemic of CKDu in agricultural communities is recognized across all the articles in the journal as a subset of the rapid rise of CKD globally. While debate about the primary causes of the epidemic remains active, researchers agree that agricultural workers with CKDu typically do not present with the usual co-factors of CKD (diabetes, hypertension, or obesity). According to researchers, communities suffering from CKDu most often consist of agricultural laborers living and working in similar environments.
Leading theories as to the causes of CKDu include chronic dehydration from working conditions in high temperatures, exposure to agrochemicals and other nephrotoxins, and sugar consumption.
The Review’s introductory editorial demands prompt legislation and public health interventions against CKDu in tandem with continued investigation of the cause.
Viewpoint articles follow suit, explaining that while evidence is not conclusive towards one cause in particular, the scientific community can agree that the epidemic is multifactorial and can begin pressuring governments to take action on working and environmental conditions that cause chronic dehydration and exposure to agrochemicals.
As expressed in Glaser and Weiss’s viewpoint article, LIF proposes placing the needs of the affected population first. Evidence suggests that workplace interventions could prevent or slow the onset of CKDu. This means we can (and should) help save lives now. La Isla Foundation is committed to taking action now to reduce the burden of the disease on affected populations.