Long-term exposure to air pollution and increased risk of membranous nephropathy in China

Xin Xu, Guobao Wang, Nan Chen, Tao Lu, Sheng Nie, Gang Xu, Ping Zhang, Yang Luo, Yongping Wang, Xiaobin Wang, Joel Schwartz, Jian Geng, Fan Fan Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The effect of air pollution on the changing pattern of glomerulopathy has not been studied.We estimated the profile of and temporal change in glomerular diseases in an 11-year renal biopsy series including 71,151 native biopsies at 938 hospitals spanning 282 cities in China from 2004 to 2014, and examined the association of long-termexposure to fine particulatematter of,2.5 mm(PM2.5)with glomerulopathy. After age and region standardization, we identified IgA nephropathy as the leading type of glomerulopathy, with a frequency of 28.1%, followed bymembranous nephropathy (MN), with a frequency of 23.4%. Notably, the adjusted odds for MN increased 13% annually over the 11-year study period, whereas the proportions of other major glomerulopathies remained stable. During the study period, 3-year average PM2.5 exposure varied among the 282 cities, ranging from 6 to 114 mg/m3 (mean, 52.6 mg/m3). Each 10 mg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration associated with 14% higher odds for MN (odds ratio, 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.10 to 1.18) in regions with PM2.5 concentration.70 mg/m3.We also found that higher 3-year average air quality index was associated with increased risk of MN. In conclusion, in this large renal biopsy series, the frequency of MN increased over the study period, and long-term exposure to high levels of PM2.5 was associated with an increased risk of MN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3739-3746
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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