TRACK: Management and Administration in OEM
Claudia Asensio, DrPH, RN, Pantaleon Group, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jaime Butler-Dawson, PhD, MPH, University of Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Lee S. Newman, MD, FACOEM, Center for Worker Health and Environment, Colorado School of Public Health, Denver, CO
Liliana Tenney, MPH, Center for Health, Work & Environment, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Recent research has confirmed that workers employed by sugar cane plantations and other agribusinesses are in an international epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu), also referred to as Mesoamerican Nephropathy. CKDu largely affects adult men who do not have traditional causes of chronic kidney failure and who work under conditions of high heat and physical exertion in Latin America and parts of Asia. Many theories have been proffered to explain this epidemic. Our team of physicians, exposure scientists, physiologists, epidemiologists, and others is collaborating with companies in Guatemala that are committed to corporate social responsibility to address CKDu, using a Total Worker Health® approach. This session will report what is currently known about the epidemiology, risk factors, mechanisms, interventions, and implications. The session will also examine the pivotal role that occupational medicine can play in addressing this global threat to worker health and productivity. This session was organized by the Rocky Mountain Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.