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DOI: 10.1186/s12882-023-03073-w; PMCID: PMC9912673


BACKGROUND: Tobacco exposure has been recognized as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and progression of kidney disease. Patients with proteinuric glomerulopathies are at increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Multiple studies have linked tobacco exposure to CVD and chronic kidney disease, but the relationships between smoking and proteinuric glomerulopathies in adults and children have not been previously explored.

METHODS: Data from the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE), a multi-center prospective observational study of participants with proteinuric glomerulopathies, was analyzed. 371 adults and 192 children enrolled in NEPTUNE were included in the analysis. Self-reported tobacco exposure was classified as non-smoker, active smoker, former smoker, or exclusive passive smoker. Baseline serum cotinine levels were measured in a sub-cohort of 178 participants.

RESULTS: The prevalence of active smokers, former smokers and exclusive passive smoking among adults at baseline was 14.6%, 29.1% and 4.9%, respectively. Passive smoke exposure was 16.7% among children. Active smoking (reference non-smoking) was significantly associated with greater total cholesterol among adults (β 17.91 95% CI 0.06, 35.76, p = 0.049) while passive smoking (reference non-smoking) was significantly associated with greater proteinuria over time among children (β 1.23 95% CI 0.13, 2.33, p = 0.03). Higher cotinine levels were associated with higher baseline eGFR (r = 0.17, p = 0.03).

CONCLUSION: Tobacco exposure is associated with greater risk for CVD and worse kidney disease outcomes in adults and children with proteinuric glomerulopathies. Preventive strategies to reduce tobacco exposure may help protect against future cardiovascular and kidney morbidity and mortality in patients with proteinuric glomerulopathies.

Journal Title

BMC nephrology [electronic resource]





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Adult; Child; Cohort Studies; Cotinine; Tobacco; Tobacco Smoke Pollution; Neptune; Kidney Diseases; Cardiovascular Diseases


Cardiovascular risk factors; Cigarette smoking; Cotinine; Nephrotic syndrome; Second-hand smoking


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