Exposure to second-hand smoke linked to kidney disease

People exposed to second-hand smoke even a few days a week had more than 50 per cent increased risk of developing kidney disease

Exposure to second-hand smoke linked to kidney disease
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Exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk for chronic kidney disease, a new study has found.

Korean researchers studied 131,196 non-smokers, dividing them into three groups: those who had more than three days a week of exposure to second-hand smoke; those who had less than three days a week; and those with no exposure at all.

Their average age was 53, and 75 per cent were women. The study is in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

After controlling for age, sex, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, alcohol consumption and other health and behavioural characteristics, they found that people who had already been exposed to second-hand smoke at the start of the study had a 44 per cent higher incidence of kidney disease.

The researchers followed the study volunteers for an average follow-up of almost nine years. Compared with those unexposed to second-hand smoke, people exposed up to three times a week had a 58 per cent increased risk of developing renal disease, and those exposed more than three days weekly had a 62 per cent increased risk.

“The dangers of second-hand smoke are obvious, not just for kidney disease but for lung cancer and cardiovascular disease as well,” said the lead author, Dr. Jung Tak Park, a nephrologist at Yonsei University in Seoul.

“I’m not trying to scare people, but kidney disease is a non-reversible condition, you can’t get it fixed when renal function fails. The best approach is to reduce modifiable risks,” added Dr Park.

Source: The New York Times