Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Excess risk of kidney disease in a population living near industrial plants
  1. S Hodgson1,
  2. M J Nieuwenhuijsen2,
  3. A Hansell1,
  4. S Shepperd1,
  5. T Flute3,
  6. B Staples4,
  7. P Elliott1,
  8. L Jarup1
  1. 1Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU), Imperial College London, UK
  2. 2Dept Environmental Science and Technology, Imperial College London, UK
  3. 3Halton Primary Care Trust and Warrington Primary Care Trust, UK
  4. 4Formerly Consultant Environmental Health, North Cheshire Health Authority, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L Jarup
 SAHSU, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, St Mary’s Campus, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK;


Runcorn has been a site of chemical industry activity for over a century, where tons of toxic chemicals are released annually to air and water. Excess kidney disease mortality (nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis) was found in the population living within 2 km of the industrial plants (standardised mortality ratio (SMR) in males 131 (95% CI 90 to 185) and females 161 (95% CI 118 to 214)) compared to a reference population (northwest England)). Risk of hospital admissions for kidney disease in Halton (comprising the towns of Runcorn and Widnes) was higher than in the less industrial, nearby town of Warrington. The standardised admission ratio (SAR) in Halton was 115 (95% CI 107 to 124) for males and 126 (95% CI 117 to 137) for females; and in Warrington 91 (95% CI 85 to 97) for males and 84 (95% CI 78 to 91) for females compared to the Warrington and Halton area as a whole. The excess risk of kidney disease in the Runcorn area requires further investigation.

  • industrial plants
  • kidney disease
  • morbidity
  • mortality

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • The authors would like to thank the Medical Research Council for PhD studentship support of S Hodgson.

    The morbidity analysis was undertaken by the North Cheshire Health Surveillance Project. Funding was provided by local industry.