Novel epidemiological data on Balkan Endemic Nephropathy in endemic foci of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Lejla Džananović, Želimir Stipančić, Semra Čavaljuga


Introduction: While Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) remains one of the leading causes of renal failure in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H), valid epidemiological data on BEN in FB&H after 1989 do not exist. We conducted a study to determine the prevalence of BEN, and analyse epidemiological and relevant clinical data of patients in different phases of BEN.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study which surveyed inhabitants of eight endemic villages in FB&H was performed in 2013. For every participant, physical examination, urinalysis on albuminuria presence and urine creatinine measurement were performed. A specially designed questionnaire was filled in for every participant. Patients classified in a group with intermittent proteinuria (IP), according to Danilovic’s criteria, were referred for further diagnostics followed by definite classification.
Results: We examined a total of 486 patients. Prevalence of diseased was 0.7%, suspect 2.7%, and patients with IP 17.4%. Females were dominant in group with IP while sex ratio was 1:1 in the suspect group; diseased patients were all males. Age category 60-79 is dominant in all three BEN groups. Statistically significant difference in mean/median values of diastolic blood pressure, albumin/creatinine ratio, erythrocyte count, haemoglobin, blood urea nitrogen and blood creatinine levels, between BEN groups, was found to exist.
Conclusions: BEN will continue to be the leading cause of renal failure in endemic areas of FB&H, as prevalence indicates that there still are cases of BEN and the endemicity continues.

Keywords: Balkan endemic nephropathy, epidemiology, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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