Secondhand smoke linked with higher kidney disease risk

A new study has uncovered a link between exposure to secondhand smoke and the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study, which appears in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), provides additional rationale for strengthening public smoking restriction policies and supporting educational programs about the harms of secondhand smoke.

Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoking have been linked with higher risks of various diseases, but their effects on kidney health are unclear. A team from Korea led by Jung Tak Park, MD, Ph.D. (Yonsei University College of Medicine) and Jong Hyun Jhee, MD (Inha University College of Medicine) conducted a study to investigate the association between secondhand smoke exposure and CKD in adults who had never smoked.

The study included 131,196 never-smokers who participated in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study from 2001 to 2014. Participants were classified into 3 groups based on frequency of secondhand smoke exposure as assessed with survey questionnaires: no-exposure, less than 3 days per week of exposure, and 3 or more days per week of exposure.

Participants with less than 3 days per week and those with 3 or more days per week of exposure had 1.48-times and 1.44-times higher odds of having CKD when compared with participants with no secondhand cigarette exposure.

In an additional analysis, the researchers assessed the risk of receiving a new diagnosis of CKD over an average follow-up of 8.7 years among 1,948 participants. Compared with the no-exposure group, the risk for developing CKD was 66% and 59% higher in participants with 3 or more days per week and less than 3 days per week of exposure, respectively.

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