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Exposure to secondhand smoke can increase risk of kidney disease: Study

The perils of passive smoking need no retelling. However, according to a report quoted in The New York Times, being exposed to secondhand smoke can also heighten the risk of chronic kidney disease. In order to arrive at the result, around 131,196 nonsmokers were examined by a group of researchers. The participants were divided into three groups – those who were exposed to secondhand smoke for three days a week; those who were exposed to it less than three days a week; and those who were not exposed to secondhand smoke at all. The average age of the participants for the study was 53, and around 75 per cent of them were women.

The study, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, after making adjustments for body mass index, diabetes, age, and other behaviourial characteristics, deduced that those who were exposed to secondhand smoke at the start of the study ran a risk of 44 per cent of suffering from kidney disease.


The participants were examined by the researchers for almost nine years. Those who were exposed to secondhand smoke three times a week, when compared to those who were not exposed to it at all, ran an increased risk of 58 per cent of developing kidney disease.

“The dangers of secondhand smoke are obvious, not just for kidney disease but for lung cancer and cardiovascular disease as well,” Dr Jung Tak Park, lead author and a nephrologist at the Yonsei University in Seoul was quoted as saying. “I’m not trying to scare people, but kidney disease is a nonreversible condition — you can’t get it fixed when renal function fails. The best approach is to reduce modifiable risks,” one of the researchers of the study added.