Creatinine Fluctuations Forecast Cross-Harvest Kidney Function Decline Among Sugarcane Workers in Guatemala


Background: Chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) is an epidemic that disproportionately affects young agriculture workers in hot regions. It has been hypothesized that repeated acute kidney injury (AKI) may play a role in the development of disease.

Methods: Latent class mixed models were used to identify groups of Guatemalan sugarcane harvesters based on their daily changes in creatinine over 6 consecutive days in 2018. Exponential smoothing state space models were used to forecast end-of-season creatinine between the identified groups. Percent change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) across the harvest was compared between groups.

Results: Twenty-nine percent (n = 30) of the 103 workers experienced repeated severe fluctuations in creatinine across shift. The model with multiplicative error, multiplicative trend, and multiplicative seasonality was able to accurately forecast end-of-season creatinine in the severe group (mean percentage error [MPE]: -4.7%). eGFR of workers in the severe group on average decreased 20% across season compared to 11% decline for those in the moderate group (95% confidence interval for difference: -17% to 0%). Conclusions: Daily fluctuations in creatinine can be used to forecast end-of-season creatinine in sugarcane harvesters. Workers who experience repeat severe daily fluctuations in creatinine, on average, experience a greater reduction in kidney function across the season.

Authors: Miranda Dally, Jaime Butler-Dawson, Richard J Johnson, Lyndsay Krisher, Diana Jaramillo, Kira L Newman, Lee S Newman
; Full Source: Kidney international reports 2020 Jul 12;5(9):1558-1566. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2020.06.032.