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Smoking Increases Risk for Kidney Failure

Smoking Increases Risk for Kidney Failure 

Published, May 23, 2013







Kidney diseases show an increased prevalence worldwide, with many people requiring expensive kidney replacement therapy. Smoking is generally known to increase the risk of death in people with heart diseases and cancer; however it can also increase the risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, very few studies have considered investigating the relationship between smoking and kidney failure. Previous studies have reported that, the burden of kidney failure is increasing rapidly in many Asian countries due to lack of tobacco control policies. A recent study conducted in Singapore therefore examined an association between smoking and the risk of kidney failure.

The study involved 63,257 Chinese adults enrolled between 1993 and 1998. The authors of the study obtained information on smoking status in all the participants and divided them into three groups as: never-smokers (Never smoked), former smokers (smoked before but had quit at the time of study) and current smokers (smoked at the time of enrollment to study). The participants were followed up for 13 years and the incidence of kidney failure was identified from the records in nationwide Singapore Renal Registry until 2008.

The authors found that among men who were either current or former smokers had increased risk of kidney failure than never-smokers.The risk of kidney failure remained significantly elevated up to 9 years after smoking cessation in former smokers. However, the risk decreased after 10 years or greater after quitting. This suggests that cessation of smoking can be beneficial in avoiding kidney failure. The authors observed that men who smoked were more likely to be less educated, consume alcohol, and have diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The authors concluded that smoking shows a strong predictive association with kidney failure, which increases with the duration of smoking.

The authors suggest that the results of this study indicate the immediate need for strict tobacco control through legislative action, taxation, and public education.



Jin A, Koh WP. Smoking and risk of kidney failure in the Singapore chinese health study. PLoS One. 2013;8(5):e62962

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