Central America is facing an epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and Washington University’s Joaquin Barnoya, MD, MPH is among the public health researchers attempting to pinpoint the cause.
One study estimates that 20,000 people in the region have died from CKD over the last 20 years—mostly men of working age—although none of the established risk factors for the disease seem to be contributing. The highest prevalence rates of CKD in El Salvador and western Nicaragua have been found among young agricultural workers, especially those farming sugar cane. Barnoya and colleagues from Washington University in St. Louis as well as Unidad Nacional de Atención al Enformo Renal Crónico (UNAERC) in Guatemala sought to determine if that country was experiencing a similar phenomenon.
Read the full story from the Institute for Public Health: Rates of Chronic Kidney Disease in Guatemala Tied to Geography