Wildfire air pollution may increase risks of hospitalization and death among patients on dialysis

Nov. 14, 2023
Among individuals receiving in-center hemodialysis treatment in Washington, Oregon, and California, exposure to wildfire-related air pollution was associated with elevated risks of hospitalization and mortality.

In analyses of data from western US states, increases in wildfire-related air pollution around dialysis clinics were linked to higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths among patients. The research was presented at ASN Kidney Week 2023 November 1–November 5.

In the study of 79,963 patients who received in-center hemodialysis treatment at 191 Fresenius Kidney Care clinics in Washington, Oregon, and California during 2005–2018, scientists investigated the risk of all-cause hospitalization and mortality associated with wildfire exposure, using 2 metrics: wildfire smoke and wildfire-related fine particulate matter (aerodynamic diameter <2.5 microns). 

Exposure to wildfire smoke plume was associated with a 3% higher risk of all-cause hospitalization the following day. The risk of death increased by 5% on the day of exposure. Exposure to wildfire-related fine particulate matter was linked to a similar increase in risk. 

American Society of Nephrology release on Newswise

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