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Kidney Blood Press Res. 2007;30(2):117-23. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Prevalence of Balkan endemic nephropathy has not changed since 1971 in the Kolubara region in Serbia.

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Institute of Endemic Nephropathy, Lazarevac, Serbia.



Thirty-one years after the first cross-sectional study, the population of Vreoci, a Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) village, was reinvestigated in order to determine the current prevalence of BEN and the clinical and laboratory characteristics of BEN family members with detected signs of kidney disease.


A total of 2,009 inhabitants (82% of the adult population) of the village were examined. Danilovic's criteria were used for diagnosis and classification of BEN.


The prevalence of BEN (1.70%) was similar to that in 1971 (1.67%). Diagnosis of BEN was established in 19 BEN family members, suspected BEN in 23, proteinuria in 29, while 16 healthy members were examined as controls. Urine protein, alpha1-microglobulin levels and frequency of glucosuria were significantly higher and kidney length significantly smaller in the three patient groups than in healthy persons. Serum urea and creatinine levels were significantly higher, but creatinine clearance was lower in BEN and BEN suspected patients than in the other two groups.


The prevalence of BEN remains stable over time in Vreoci village. Manifested disease was found in both BEN and BEN suspected patients. In persons with proteinuria but not enough criteria for BEN, tubular disorders and hypertension were frequently found.

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