Wildfire affects dialysis patients in western US

Wildfire affects dialysis patients in western US | Credits: Google Images
Wildfire affects dialysis patients in western US | Credits: Google Images

United States: The patients on dialysis in the United States are largely impacted by exposure to wildfire-related air pollution in the Western region, according to new research.

The study has further suggested that this issue has increased the risks of hospitalization and deaths among patients – especially those who are receiving hemodialysis treatment in the centers based in California, Oregon and Washington.

It is to be noted that the wildfires have been increasing in severity and frequency with time.

80,000 patients were tested for the research

To conduct the research, the experts collected data for around 80,000 patients who were treated at 191 Fresenius Kidney Care clinics in the three states between 2005 and 2018.

Visual Representation: Dialysis | Credits: Getty

The researchers used two measures to check the risk of wildfire-related hospitalization and death. The two metrics were wildfire smoke and wildfire-related fine particulate matter.

The study concluded that on the day of exposure, the risk of death rose to around 5 percent. Breathing in particulate matter from the fires increased the risk in a similar way.

Hyeonjin Song’s comment on the study’s conclusion

An American Society of Nephrology – Hyeonjin Song, who was a corresponding author of the study, through a news release stated, “This research sheds light on the health risks faced by hemodialysis patients during wildfire events.”

Song further said, “The most recent US National Climate Assessment suggests that wildfire seasons will continue to get longer with a corresponding increase in frequency and intensity of wildfire events in response to ongoing climate change,” according to HealthDay News.

Wildfires in the United States | Credits: ShutterStock

“We need to pay attention to how such hazards impact the most vulnerable among us and enhance our preparedness activities to minimize the disease burden,” she continued.

Where and When was the study presented?

The study was presented during a meeting of the American Society of Nephrology conducted in Philadelphia, amid the last week. The findings will be considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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