Epidemiology of chronic kidney disease in adults of Salvadoran agricultural communities

MEDICC Rev. 2014 Apr;16(2):23-30. doi: 10.37757/MR2014.V16.N2.5.


Introduction: In El Salvador, chronic kidney disease is a serious and growing public health problem. Chronic renal failure was the first cause of hospital deaths in men and the fifth in women in 2011.

Objective: Determine prevalence of CKD, CKD risk factors (traditional and nontraditional) and renal damage markers in the adult population of specific rural areas in El Salvador; measure population distribution of renal function; and identify associated risk factors in CKD patients detected.

Methods: A cross-sectional analytical epidemiological study was conducted based on active screening for chronic kidney disease and risk factors in persons aged ≥18 years during 2009-2011. Epidemiological and clinical data were gathered through personal history, as well as urinalysis for renal and vascular damage markers, determinations of serum creatinine and glucose, and estimation of glomerular filtration rates. Chronic kidney disease cases were confirmed at three months. Multiple logistical regression was used for statistical analysis.

Results: Prevalence of chronic kidney disease was 18% (23.9% for men and 13.9% for women) in 2388 persons: 976 men and 1412 women from 1306 families studied. Chronic kidney disease with neither diabetes nor hypertension nor proteinuria ≥1 g/L (51.9%) predominated. Prevalence of chronic renal failure was 11% (17.1% in men and 6.8% in women). Prevalence of renal damage markers was 12.5% (higher in men): microalbuminuria, 6.9%; proteinuria (0.3 g/L), 1.7%; proteinuria (1g/L), 0.6%; proteinuria (2 g/L), 0.4 %; and hematuria, 1.5%. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease risk factors was: diabetes mellitus, 9%; hypertension, 20.9%; family history of chronic kidney disease, 16.5%; family history of diabetes mellitus, 18.5%; family history of hypertension, 30.6%; obesity, 21%; central obesity, 24.9%; NSAID use, 84.2%; smoking, 9.9%; alcohol use, 15%; agricultural occupation, 31.2%; and contact with agrochemicals, 46.7%. Chronic kidney disease was significantly associated with male sex, older age, hypertension, agricultural occupation, family history of chronic kidney disease and contact with the agrochemical methyl parathion.

Conclusions: The results of this study support suggestions from other research that we are facing a new form of kidney disease that could be called agricultural nephropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Agriculture*
  • Agrochemicals / poisoning*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • El Salvador / epidemiology
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Plants, Medicinal / adverse effects
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Agrochemicals
  • Biomarkers