Renal diseases are considered to be the most neglected among chronic diseases. A new study led by researchers from Monash University revealed that temperature changes affect kidney disease hospitalizations.
According to News Medical Life Sciences, the largest study on the impact of increasing temperature on renal diseases showed that about 7.4% of all kidney disease hospitalizations are due to the increase in temperature in Brazil where the study is focused. This is equivalent to 202,000 cases from 2000 to 2015.
Quantifying Associations Between Temperature and Kidney Disease Hospitalizations
The study, titled “Association Between Ambient Temperature and Hospitalization for Renal Diseases in Brazil During 2000–2015: A Nationwide Case-Crossover Study” published in The Lancet Regional Health – America, is the first study to quantify the risk between kidney disease and ambient temperature in Brazil.
The study has now come into focus as world leaders join the COP26 conference in Glasgow to discuss the impact of climate change and the measures each country will take to prevent its adverse effects.
International Business Times reported that researchers looked at the hospital admission data in 1,816 cities in Brazil dated January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2015, which accounts for 2,726,866 kidney disease hospitalizations. Concurrently, the team also looked at the daily maximum and minimum temperatures during that period.
They found that for every 1-degree increase in temperature, there is also a 0.9 percent increase in the risk of inpatient care for people with kidney disease. In total, they found that 7.4% of hospitalization cases were attributed to the increasing temperature in Brazil. Women, the elderly, and children from zero to four years old have a higher risk than men of being hospitalized.
This suggests a direct association between temperature changes and kidney disease hospitalizations. However, the exact biological mechanisms behind it remain unclear, researchers noted.
Study Provides Evidence for Better Climate Policies
Study authors from the University of Sao Paulo argued that the study provides robust evidence that governments need to develop more policies against climate change to prevent heat-related hospitalizations, Medical Xpress reported.
Moreover, they recommend that these policies should be urgently incorporated in government policy, particularly on targeting individuals that are at higher risk, like women, children, and the elderly.
Study author Professor Yuming Guo added that the policy should also pay attention to low- and middle-income countries, such as Brazil, which still need reliable heat warning systems.