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Kidney Blood Press Res. 2012;35(3):147-52. doi: 10.1159/000333836. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Could disappearance of endemic (Balkan) nephropathy be expected in forthcoming decades?

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Institute for Public Health, County Brodsko Posavska, Slavonski Brod, Croatia.



An epidemiological survey of endemic nephropathy (EN) was performed in endemic Croatian areas and the current prevalence was compared to that reported for the same villages several decades ago.


A total of 2,487 adult farmers from 6 endemic villages and 3 non-endemic villages were enrolled. An extensive epidemiological questionnaire, clinical examination and laboratory analyses of blood and urine were performed. According to the modified WHO criteria, participants were classified into diseased, suspected of having EN, and those at risk of developing EN.


The overall prevalence of EN in the Croatian areas was 1.0%, ranging between 0.3 and 2.3% in different villages. Those suspected of having EN amounted to 3.9%. In the endemic villages a decreasing trend in the prevalence of EN was observed comparable to the results obtained in previous surveys. It is interesting to note that no EN patients were recorded in the endemic village of Dubočac.


The prevalence of EN in the endemic Croatian areas appears to be decreasing. For the first time, we failed to detect any EN patients in a village that was previously considered endemic, which might indicate that EN is diminishing.

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