Climate change is likely to accelerate rates of chronic kidney disease worldwide as rising temperatures and heat stress harm kidneys.
New findings show that heat stress nephropathy — chronic kidney diseases are on the rise, especially in many rural communities in hot regions.
With rise in temperature worldwide, dehydration and heat stress are likely to take a toll on the kidneys, emerging as a major cause of poor kidney health in the near future.
“A new type of kidney disease, occurring throughout the world in hot areas, is linked with temperature and climate and may be one of the first epidemics due to global warming,” said Richard Johnson, from the University of Colorado in the US.
Also, global warming and a rise in extreme heat waves have increased the risk of kidney disease, especially for the agricultural workers, who are exposed to the heat for longer duration.
Decreasing amounts of rain contribute to the growing epidemic of the chronic kidney disease consistent with heat stress — by reducing water supplies and quality as temperatures rise, the researchers noted.
“We were able to connect increased rates of chronic kidney disease in different areas to an underlying mechanism — heat stress and dehydration — and to climate,” Johnson said.
The findings will be detailed in forthcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).
Governments and scientists need to work together to learn more about this threat and take action to reduce the risk of climate change-linked kidney disease, the researchers said.