Earlier studies have shown that exposure to lead may lead to deterioration of kidney function. Researchers in Taiwan, in a new study, have now shown that kidney function in people with chronic kidney problems may be adversely affected due to environmental lead exposure. The researchers studied a group of people with chronic kidney disease in which there were some who had a normal body burden of lead, while others were found to have an elevated level of lead. The subjects in the group were given either a placebo or chelation therapy - a method of removing lead. They found that those on chelation therapy had an improved glomerular filtration rate (GFR) compared to those on placebo. It was also found that the rate of decline of the GFR, which is a standard measure of kidney function, was also slowed down with chelation therapy.
The study thus concluded that chronic kidney disease patients must be checked for lead levels and given chelation therapy to reduce the levels, if found to be high.