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Study: Hospitalizations for kidney disease in Brazil, climate linked

By Allen Cone
Study: Hospitalizations for kidney disease in Brazil, climate linked
Palestinian girls are treated for renal failure in the Pediatric Artificial Kidney Unit in the Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mt. of Olives in East Jerusalem, on September 10, 2018. File photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Around one-fourteenth of all hospitalizations for kidney disease can be attributed to an increase in temperature, according to a study focused in Brazil and released Sunday.

For every 1 degree Celsius increase in daily mean temperature, there is an almost 1% increase in renal disease, according to a study published in The Lancet Regional Health -- Americas journal. Mostly impacted: women, children under 4 and those 80+ years of age

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While the world focuses on the impact of climate change at the COP26 conference in Glasgow on Sunday, the study for the time quantifies the risk and attributable burden for hospitalizations of renal diseases related to ambient temperature.

The 7.4 percentage equates to more than 202,000 cases of renal disease from 2000-2015. The study was led by Professor Yuming Guo and Dr Shanshan Li from Planetary Health at Monash University. They are also from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

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Used was daily hospital admission data from 1,816 cities in Brazil.

Almost 2.6 million deaths were attributable to impaired kidney function in 2017, according to a landmark article in The Lancet in which renal diseases a global public health concern.

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Death from kidney disease had risen 26.6% from a decade previously.

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The study looked at 2,726,886 hospitalizations for renal diseases.

In the context of global warming, "more strategies and policies should be developed to prevent heat-related hospitalizations and mitigate climate change," Guo said.

The largest associations between temperature and renal diseases were on the day of the exposure to extreme temperatures though it remained for 1-2 days after exposure.

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To mitigate the problems, the authors advise interventions should be urgently incorporated into government policy on climate changes as some people are more vulnerable to heat with regard to renal diseases.

"Moreover, attention should be paid to low- and middle-income countries like Brazil, where reliable heat warning systems and preventive measures are still in need," Guo said.

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