Sentinel Sickness

In 2014, NPR reported a rise in chronic kidney disease of unknown origin among young, healthy Central American laborers. Last week, physician Cecilia Sorensen published an editorial naming CKDu a “sentinel disease in the era of climate change.” 

Sorensen’s work has tracked the disease globally: CKDu afflicts miners, fishermen and other laborers in India, Sri Lanka, Africa and across the Middle East—areas where temperatures have risen in recent years. But it’s difficult to definitively link CKDu to climate change and Sorensen admits it’s likely “multi-factorial.” 

Regardless, she says, health professionals must now consider the role of climate change in all “mysterious” diseases. 

NPR Goats and Soda

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