Detection of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Florida by Repurposing a Statewide Data Infrastructure for Surveillance

Key Personnel

  • Co-Investigator

    Norman L. Beatty, MD, FACP

    Assistant Professor — University of Florida, College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine

  • Co-Investigator

    Yi Guo, Ph.D

    Associate Professor — University of Florida, College of Medicine, Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics

  • Co-Investigator

    John Diaz, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor and Extension Specialist — University of Florida, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication

  • IT Project Manager II

    Donny Weinbrenner

  • IT

    Sonya Heinz White, PMP, PMI-ACP

    Associate Director — University of Florida, Project and Program Management - Biomedical Informatics

  • Application Programer

    Xiwei Lou

  • Research Coordinator

    Lara Vargas Alvarez 

Project Summary

Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) is an emerging public health concern for agricultural workers in various regions within the subtropics and tropics. Recognition of this condition is growing among agricultural communities and has been described in regions found in Central America, Sri Lanka, India, Tunisia, and Taiwan. The pathologic mechanisms leading to this form of nephropathy remain a mystery, but the process appears to be multifactorial. A combination of chronic heat stress and dehydration, prolonged exposure to agrochemicals and drinking water pollutants, and ongoing exposure to toxins produced by plants, microorganisms, and/or animals, have all been hypothesized to contribute to CKDu in agricultural communities. 

Research is needed to better understand those at-risk for this condition, and our multidisciplinary team will investigate the incidence and prevalence of CKDu among agricultural communities here in the state of Florida. Through our clinical networks, our team will analyze electronic health record and administrative claim data to examine occupational disparities in CKDu, geographical hotspots that may exist and develop a multi-level and geospatial model for CKDu risk factors in our state.