Proximity to petrochemical industrial parks and risk of chronic glomerulonephritis

Environ Res. 2022 May 15:208:112700. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.112700. Epub 2022 Jan 10.


This study determined whether individuals residing near petrochemical industrial parks (PIPs) have a higher risk of chronic glomerulonephritis (CGN). We performed population-based 1:4 case-control study by using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database from 2000 to 2016. The subjects were aged 20-65 years, residing in western Taiwan, and did not have a history of any renal or urinary system disease in 2000. The case cohort included those who had at least three outpatient visits or one hospitalization between 2001 and 2016 with codes for CGN as per International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-Ninth and Tenth Revisions. Controls were randomly sampled age-, sex-, and urbanization-matched individuals without renal and urinary system diseases. Petrochemical exposure was evaluated by the distance to the nearest PIP of the residential township, and petrochemical exposure probability was examined considering the monthly prevailing wind direction. Conditional logistic regression was used to determine the association between petrochemical exposure and CGN risk. A total of 320,935 subjects were included in the final analysis (64,187 cases and 256,748 controls). After adjustment for potential confounders, living in townships within a 3-km radius of PIPs was associated with a higher risk of CGN (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.28-1.37). Compared with townships more than 20 km away from PIPs, those within 10 km of PIPs were associated with significantly increased risks of CGN in a dose-dependent manner. When prevailing wind was considered, townships with high exposure probability were associated with a significantly increased risk of CGN. We found that those residing near PIPs or with high petrochemical exposure probability had a higher risk of CGN. These findings highlight the need for monitoring environmental nephrotoxic substances and the renal health of residents living near PIPs.

Keywords: Chronic glomerulonephritis; Petrochemical industrial parks; Renal health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Environmental Exposure* / analysis
  • Glomerulonephritis* / chemically induced
  • Glomerulonephritis* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Young Adult