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The World in Medicine
August 15, 2007

Kidney Disease Mystery Solved?

JAMA. 2007;298(7):731. doi:10.1001/jama.298.7.731-b

A devastating kidney disease found in certain areas of Balkan countries may be caused by contaminated grain, report Croatian and US researchers (Grollman AP et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi:10.1073/pnas.0701248104 [published online ahead of print July 9, 2007]).

Endemic (Balkan) nephropathy (EN), first described in the late 1950s, occurs only in Balkan farming villages along tributaries of the Danube River. The disease progresses rapidly to chronic renal failure and is associated with upper urinary tract transitional cell (urothelial) cancer.