In response to a preliminary study presented this week that found early signs of kidney damage in Ground Zero first responders, the National Kidney Foundation offers information and support to responders and their families and encourages further research into this potential health issue.
The study found that workers with the highest exposure to polluted air from the disaster site showed significantly higher levels of albuminuria, or protein in the urine, than those who spent the least time at Ground Zero. Albuminuria is one of the earliest signs of kidney damage.
“Further research is needed before kidney disease is added to the list of health problems connected to the disaster,” said Bruce Skyer, National Kidney Foundation CEO, “But if research findings show a strong causal connection between particle dust inhalation and kidney damage, the National Kidney Foundation would like the World Trade Center Health Program to consider adding kidney disease to the list of eligible conditions so that victims may receive treatment and compensation as appropriate.”
Albuminuria affects 10 million Americans and is a risk factor for kidney failure and heart disease, besides being a signal of kidney disease. To take the foundation’s quick, interactive kidney risk check and self-assess for albuminuria, click here.
To learn more about risk factors, kidney damage and screening visit the National Kidney Foundation online at www.kidney.org.