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Sugar cane

Sugarcane Workweek Study: Risk Factors for Daily Changes in Creatinine

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Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) have published a paper in Kidney International Reports studying the daily changes in creatinine among sugarcane workers in Guatemala. Agricultural workers laboring in thermally stressful environments are at increased risk for kidney injury and chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu), and their environmental and occupational exposures have been considered to be important risk factors. The study examined the effects of repeated kidney stress from the simultaneous strain of work and other factors experienced by workers during a typical workweek. 

The study was conducted among workers at Pantaleon, one of Latin America's largest agribusinesses. The Center has been partnering with Pantaleon with to conduct research over the last five years and thanks to this collaboration, our team has a unique opportunity to disseminate its findings not only through research publications, but by communicating with other international business organizations. The team uses this public-private partnership to broaden the impact and translation of science into practice.

The research team, led by Dr. Jaime Butler-Dawson, collected data from 107 sugarcane workers across seven consecutive work shifts. Data included information on daily occupational, meteorological, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The study showed the possible connections between heat exposure and drinking water source with acute changes in markers of kidney injury. 

The graphical abstract below provides a clear and succinct summary of the findings from this particular study. If you would like to learn more about our center's work related to climate and worker health, visit our Climate, Work & Health Initiative page.


Topics: Worker Health