Investigating Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology: Pesticides and Heavy Metals as Potential Causes

Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology (CKDu) is a presentation of chronic kidney disease, without the presentation of traditional CKD risk factors which are predominantly diabetes and hypertension. This project will review the current state of knowledge regarding CKDu pathophysiological pathways and develop an inexpensive, comprehensive strategy to identify potential causative agents of CKDu, the extent of their significance and who is most at risk in the community. It will do this using a retrospective, repeated cross-sectional approach to large data sets to identify trends.  These findings aim to aid in developing management strategies and thus improve health outcomes for individuals living with or at risk of CKDu. It has been hypothesised that environmental pesticide exposure, particularly organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), can be a contributing factor to chronic kidney disease of unknown origin. Similarly, a range of other potential risk factors will be examined using random forest plots.

Project members

A/Prof Nicholas Osborne

Theme Leader, Environmental Health Epidemiology