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CDC will explore kidney failure epidemic among agricultural workers

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3385 (Published 19 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3385
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched three new studies to examine a lethal epidemic of kidney failure that has killed agricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific coast and in regions of Sri Lanka, India, and Egypt.

Chronic kidney disease of unknown origin, or CKDu, has crept up on health authorities in the affected countries, affecting many poor rural communities far from research centers. India’s epidemic, concentrated in the Uddanam region of Andhra Pradesh, emerged after research into typical forms of chronic kidney disease had found large numbers of young men with the disease who had neither diabetes nor hypertension—the usual precursors of kidney failure.

But the largest affected region is western Central America, where at least 20 000 men of working age are believed to …

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