Can living near a major road be bad for your kidneys?
Living near a major road may have a negative impact on kidney function, according to new research published in the British Medical Journal.
The authors drew this conclusion after researching 1,100 adults who had sustained a stroke between 1999 and 2004 who had been admitted to a hospital in the greater Boston, Mass. area.
In order to study the adults, each patient’s serum creatinine was measured. According to the study, creatinine is “a by-product of muscle metabolism and is filtered out of the body by the kidney, known as the glomerular filtration rate or GFR.” Therefore, the GFR is an indicator of how well the patient’s kidney is working.
Even after adjusting for other factors such as age, sex, race, smoking, underlying conditions, treatment for heart conditions and affluence, patients who lived closest to a major road had the lowest GFR.
“The current study suggests that living near a major roadway is associated with lower GFR in a cohort of patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke,” states the study.
Based on the information, even location of as small as half a mile can have detrimental or beneficial health effects. The researchers suggest that a person living on a major road is at 4 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, and a 1 percent increased risk in death from all causes, than a person who lives approximately .6 miles away from a major road.
“There is growing evidence that living near major roadways contributes to the incidence of vascular disease, and adverse prognosis among patients with prevalent cardiovascular disease,” write the authors in a statement.
The results of the study, concluded that the kidneys are highly susceptible to the build-up of arterial plaque and air pollution caused by traffic is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
“If causal, these results imply that exposures associated with living near a major roadway contribute to reduced renal function, an important risk factor for cardiovascular events,” write the authors in a statement.
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