New York, April 1 (IANS) Housing insecurity — high housing costs or unsafe living conditions that prevent self-care and threaten independence — may have negative effects on kidney health, warn researchers.
In the study, published in the journal Kidney360, the researchers found that housing insecurity was linked with a higher risk of developing albuminuria, a sign of kidney disease.
“Housing insecurity is increasing across America. Here we show that housing insecurity may be affecting the health of Americans, and it potentially increases the risk for subsequent development of kidney disease,” said study lead author Tessa K Novick from University of Texas in the US.
Previous studies have indicated that housing insecurity may contribute to delayed healthcare visits and may compromise individuals’ health.
To examine its potential relationship to the risk of developing kidney disease, the research team analysed data on black and white community-dwelling adults between the ages of 30 and 64 years from 13 neighbourhoods in both low and high socioeconomic strata in Baltimore City, Maryland.
The individuals were participating in the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the ‘Life Span Study’.
Among 1,262 participants, 405 (32 per cent) reported housing insecurity.
After a median follow-up of 3.5 years, 16 per cent of participants experienced rapid kidney function decline and seven per cent developed albuminuria (excess albumin in the urine, which is a sign of kidney disease).
After adjusting for demographic and clinical factors, housing insecurity was associated with a 3.2-fold higher odds of albuminuria, but it was not associated with rapid kidney function decline, the study said.
“Longer follow up and additional studies using larger cohorts are needed to further evaluate the impact of housing insecurity on rapid kidney function decline and reduced glomerular filtration rate,” Novick added.