Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with an increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and albuminuria in the general population in China, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Researchers examined the association between long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 and CKD prevalence in China in a representative sample of 47,204 adults from the China National Survey of CKD. The annual exposure to PM2.5 was estimated at each participant’s address. The 2-year mean PM2.5 concentration was 57.4 µg/m3, varying from 31.3 to 87.5 µg/m3. There was a positive association for a 10-µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 with CKD prevalence (odds ratio [OR], 1.28) and albuminuria (OR, 1.39). These associations were significantly stronger in urban versus rural areas, in men versus women, in participants younger than 65 versus aged 65 and older, and in those without versus with comorbidities. “The risk started to increase at PM2.5 concentrations well below the Chinese ambient air quality standards, suggesting that air quality control should be more stringent in China,” the study authors write. “These findings offer important evidence to inform policymakers and public health practices in lowering the risk of CKD associated with exposure to ambient PM2.5 pollution.”

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