9/11 responders suffered kidney damage due to air pollutants

November 09, 2013

Atlanta, GA (November 9, 2013)--Many first responders working at Ground Zero following the 9/11 tragedy were exposed to cement dust, smoke, glass fibers, and heavy metals. Exposure to high levels of such particulate matter caused significant damage to first responders' kidneys, according to research presented at ASN Kidney Week 2013 November 9 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

The team previously demonstrated abnormalities in heart and lung in first responders to 9/11. In this latest study, the investigators evaluated 183 consecutively enrolled first responders from the WTC-CHEST Program, a subset of the World Trade Center Clinical Center of Excellence. Participants provided information about particulate matter exposure, and exposure score was calculated based on proximity to Ground Zero, time of arrival, and duration of exposure.

Kidney tests demonstrated a linear trend between level of exposure to particulate matter and measures of poor kidney function. Participants with the highest exposure to particulate matter had significantly worse kidney function than those with low exposure.

"We observed a statistically significant independent relationship of high exposure to particulate matter with albuminuria in this cohort after controlling for pertinent risk factors," reported lead author Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai). "This novel finding paves the way for future studies of environmental exposures and inflammation in the pathogenesis of albuminuria."
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HighlightStudy: "New Evidence That Particulate Matter Exposure at Ground Zero Is Associated with Kidney Damage." (Abstract 5293).

Disclosures: Mark Woodward is a consultant for Sanofi and receives research funding from Roche. Christina M. Wyatt receives research funding from Gilead Sciences/Gilead Foundation and is a member of the data monitoring committee for Biocryst Pharmaceuticals. The authors report funding for this abstract was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

ASN Kidney Week 2013, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for 14,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in renal research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2011 will take place November 5 - 10, 2013 in Atlanta, GA.

The content of this abstract does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

American Society of Nephrology

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