Chronic kidney disease and associated risk factors in two Salvadoran farming communities, 2012

MEDICC Rev. 2014 Apr;16(2):55-60. doi: 10.37757/MR2014.V16.N2.9.


Introduction: Chronic kidney disease is a global pandemic, affecting the majority of countries in the world. Its prevalence is approximately 10% and it is associated mainly with diabetes and high blood pressure. In El Salvador, it is the leading cause of hospital deaths among men.

Objective: Determine prevalence of chronic kidney disease and its risk factors in two Salvadoran farming communities.

Methods: From March through September 2012, a descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in two Salvadoran farming communities: Dimas Rodríguez (El Paisnal municipality) and El Jícaro (San Agustín municipality). The research involved both epidemiological and clinical methods. An active search for chronic kidney disease and its risk factors was carried out in the population aged >15 years. House-to-house visits were carried out to take family and individual health histories and gather data on social conditions and risk factors. A physical examination was performed, along with laboratory tests (urinalysis and blood chemistry) to measure renal function and detect markers for renal damage.

Results: A total of 223 persons of both sexes were studied. Overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease was 50.2%. Prevalence of chronic renal failure was 16.1%, with slight variations between the sexes. In El Jícaro, 77.3% of participants reported contact with agrochemicals and 76.6% were farmworkers; the respective figures for Dimas Rodríguez were 75.8% and 73.7%. The next most frequently reported risk factor was NSAID use, at 61.7% in El Jícaro and 77.9% in Dimas Rodríguez.

Conclusions: CKD prevalence is alarming in these communities, among both young and old, men and women, independently of occupation. Health services must cope with the increased CKD burden observed, and are challenged to implement preventive strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Agriculture*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • El Salvador / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Pesticides / poisoning*
  • Plants, Medicinal / adverse effects
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Pesticides