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Enigmatic Renal Failure in Agricultural Communities – Common Threads and Distinctions in an Atypical Disease

Common Threads and Distinctions in an Atypical Disease

For the past 20 years, a fatal form of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) has plagued agricultural workers worldwide, and is now at epidemic levels. Geographical regions extend from Central America to Asia, while occupations range from rice farmers to sugarcane workers and miners. Conditions, however, remain predictably consistent: An overwhelming majority of the affected agricultural workers live in rural communities, are the sole supporters of families and work the only job available in their impoverished country. Healthcare is non-accessible. Renal dialysis is unaffordable. Premature death is certain.

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