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High Temperatures and Nephrology: The Climate Change Problem |
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High Temperatures and Nephrology: The Climate Change Problem

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An article published in Nefrologia stated that climate change greatly affects human health, even though there are few studies on renal outcomes. The authors elaborated that heat waves have been found to increase cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, as well as the risk of acute renal failure and hospitalization due to renal diseases, with related mortality. Recurrent dehydration in people regularly exposed to high temperatures appears to be resulting in an unrecognized cause of proteinuric chronic kidney disease—the underlying pathophysiological mechanism of which is becoming clearer.

Furthermore, beyond heat waves and extreme temperatures, there is a seasonal variation in glomerular filtration rate that may contribute to the onset of renal failure and electrolyte disorders during extremely hot periods. Despite little evidence in the literature, serum sodium disorders seem to increase under such conditions.

This article reported that the most vulnerable population to heat-related disease are the elderly, children, chronic patients, bedridden people, disabled people, people living alone or with little social contact, and socioeconomically disadvantaged people.

Source: Nefrologia. Sep-Oct 2017;37(5):492-500. doi: 10.1016/j.nefro.2016.12.008.

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