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You might have heard of air pollution affecting your respiratory system, heart and the lungs, but here is a new study that show how air pollution affects your kidneys as well.
The study was conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in the US.
During the study researchers had taken into consideration 2.5 million people and had evaluated the effects of air pollution and kidney disease on this group for a period of 8.5 years starting from 2004.
The samples were collected and compared by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as NASA.
The findings suggest that 44,793 new cases of kidney disease and 2,438 cases of kidney failure may be attributed to levels of air pollution that exceed the EPAs threshold of 12 microgrammes per cubic metre of air, which is the highest level of air pollution considered safe for the public, researchers said.
"However, once we analysed the data, the link between air pollution and the development of kidney disease was clear," said Al-Aly, senior author of the study.
Fine particles can damage the kidneys in the same way they damage other organs such as the heart and lungs.
Airborne and invisible, microscopic pieces of dust, dirt, smoke, soot and liquid droplets often become destructive when they invade the bloodstream.
The kidneys filter the blood, and these harmful particles can disrupt normal kidney function.
The study found that even low levels of particulate matter may adversely affect the kidneys. And those adverse effects increase as pollution levels increase.
"The higher the levels of air pollution, the worse it is for the kidneys," said Al-Aly.
The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
(With Agency Inputs)