What is CKD and CKDnT?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a sickness marked by the gradual loss of kidney function. It is commonly associated with welfare diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. It usually affects elderly people, both male and female. In recent years, a different form of progressive decline in kidney function has been discovered. This disease has come to be referred to as Chronic Kidney Disease of non-Traditional Causes (CKDnT) and is most common among working-age males. It is not, however, related to hypertension, diabetes or obesity. The disease also seems to affect different parts of the kidneys. Recently, cases of CKDnT have been spotted in countries on the South American continent, as well as in Asia, most notably Sri Lanka and India. In these countries, sugarcane workers seem to be particularly affected.
What is Mesoamerican Nephropathy (MeN)
Mesoamerican Nephropathy (MeN), formerly called chronic kidney disease of unknown cause (CKDu), refers to CKDnT that presents in young, agricultural male workers in the Pacific Ocean coastal low lands of the mesoamerican region, including southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica. This form of CKD affects mainly young male agricultural workers, exposed to very hot conditions, especially in the sugarcane fields.
In Nicaragua, the disease primarily affects young men from rural areas, the majority of whom are agricultural workers in sugarcane plantations, including the Ingenio San Antonio sugar mill, also known as ISA.
Although ISA was founded in 1890, it wasn’t until the early 1990’s that an unusual increase of MeN cases was first detected. Since then, the company has carried out numerous efforts and dedicated substantial resources in order to understand and combat the epidemic.
Despite several studies conducted along the years by independent institutions, the cause of the epidemic remains unknown.