Colorado School of Public Health receives grant to address kidney disease among women in Guatemala
The three-year K01 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences provides support to examine the environmental determinants of kidney injury in female sugarcane workers and female community members in Guatemala
Dr. Jaime Butler-Dawson, from the Center for Health, Work, & Environment (CHWE) within the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH), has received a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. The three-year K01 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will provides support to examine the environmental determinants of kidney injury in female sugarcane workers and female community members in Guatemala.
Dr. Butler-Dawson is a research instructor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) at the ColoradoSPH and is a founding member of the Climate, Work and Health Initiative. Her new study is part of CHWE’s efforts to identify and prevent exposures that may contribute to the epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) in Central America.
The research will be informed by Dr. Butler-Dawson’s interdisciplinary mentorship team which includes Drs. John Adgate, Lee Newman, and Katherine James, from the EOH Department at the ColoradoSPH; Richard Johnson, in the Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center; and James Crooks, in the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Department of Biomedical Research at National Jewish Health. Training during the grant will provide Dr. Butler-Dawson with a further background in environmental epidemiology, exposure science, leadership training, and modeling multiple concurrent environmental stressors.
CKDu has been well-described in males in the current literature. “Females, however, have rarely been studied and their impacts from the disease remain unknown,” explains Butler-Dawson. “The information gained from this study will address this knowledge gap and describe the epidemic in females and their specific exposures and risk factors.”
Dr. Butler-Dawson was the lead author of two recent papers examining occupational and non-occupational risk factors for kidney injury among male sugarcane workers in Guatemala. These studies found that exposures to metals may contribute to kidney toxicity in workers even at lower levels of exposure. “Given the potentially high exposures in Guatemalan women from in-home cooking, their communities, and agricultural sources, this is an ideal population to explore airborne pollutant exposures and kidney injury,” says Butler-Dawson.
“The goal of this study is to improve the health of this vulnerable population by identifying and reducing exposures that contribute to CKDu.”
Dr. Butler-Dawson will be working with Pantaleon, one of Latin America’s largest agribusinesses. Thanks to this collaboration, there is a unique opportunity to disseminate study findings beyond research publications to reach international businesses and community organizations.
About the Center for Health, Work & Environment
The Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health is one of six Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health® and houses the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center, one of 18 centers of its kind supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Main offices for the Center are located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The Center team works with faculty, students, and community partners on numerous projects in occupational and environmental health, safety, and well-being.
About the Colorado School of Public Health
The Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only accredited school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed in 2008 by the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries. Learn more and follow Colorado SPH’s updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.