Kidney Disease: Climate Change’s First Epidemic?

What’s behind the mysterious kidney disease that has killed more than 20,000 people in Central America, most of them sugar cane workers?

Dubbed Mesoamerican Nephropathy and first described in 2002, the disease may be caused by chronic dehydration possibly linked to global climate change, according to a study by the University of Colorado’s Richard J. Johnson and colleagues in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases

His research team studied sugar cane workers in Nicaragua and El Salvador and found that the workers experienced serious dehydration daily.

The Quote: "This could be the first epidemic directly caused by global warming. Some districts of Nicaragua have been called the 'land of widows' due to the high mortality rates occurring among the male workers from chronic kidney disease," said Johnson.

Science 2.0

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