Three Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) professors are part of a team that has received the 2019 Editor’s Choice Award from The American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Dr. Daniel Brooks, associate professor of epidemiology; Dr. Madeleine Scammell, associate professor of environmental health; and Dr. Michael McClean associate dean for research and faculty advancement and professor of environmental health, received the award for their article “Acute Kidney Injury in Sugarcane Workers at Risk for Mesoamerican Nephropathy,” published in October 2018. The professors are part of the BUSPH Research Group for the Study of Chronic Kidney Disease in Central America, which has investigated Mesoamerican nephropathy — also known as chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) — since 2009.
Four of the nearly one hundred articles published by AJKD in 2018 were chosen by the editors for their contributions to the field of nephrology. Dr. Brooks, a co-corresponding author of the study, says the team’s article helped shed light on possible causes of a kidney disease that is seen mainly in Central America and that differs from more typical forms in the United States.
“Our study had two main findings,” says Dr. Brooks. “First, more than 10 percent of field workers tested had evidence of kidney injury that was new since the beginning of the harvest season. Second, a significant fraction of those workers with acute kidney injury went on to develop chronic kidney disease over the next year.”
He says it was also notable that the cane cutters — the workers exposed to the most heat stress — developed both acute injury and chronic kidney disease at the highest rates.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on March 06