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Semin Nephrol. 2019 May;39(3):300-307. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2019.02.008.

Other Potential CKD Hotspots in the World: The Cases of Mexico and the United States.

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DPhil Student. Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Department of Nephrology, National Institute of Cardiology, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address:


Hotspots of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) have been identified throughout the globe, of which the Mesoamerican nephropathy in Central America is the most conspicuous example. It affects mainly agricultural workers, heat exposure during extenuating shifts leading to sudden dehydration and subsequent acute kidney injury (AKI) episodes is the main hypothesis, with other factors such as environmental and social determinants playing an underlying role. Recent reports have suggested that Mexico and the United States may have newly identified CKDu hotspots. Studies from Tierra Blanca, a rural region in Mexico, have shown that the prevalence of probable CKD is high (25%) among the population, of which almost half of the identified cases had no known risk factor (such as diabetes or hypertension). Studies in Hispanic agricultural workers from California and Florida have shown that heat stress and dehydration is frequent and is correlated with AKI episodes after a work shift (33% of workers in one shift). Because recurrent AKI is an established risk factor for CKD, these studies strengthen the evidence that suggests an association between this occupational exposure and CKD. Whether the etiology responsible for the entities described is the same as in other CKDu hotspots in the world remains unknown. The development of preventative and intervention strategies is the most urgent priority to address this issue.


CKD hotspot; Chronic kidney disease (CKD); acute kidney injury; agricultural workers; chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu)

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