Smoking and risk of kidney failure in the Singapore Chinese health study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


The relationship between smoking and risk of kidney failure, especially in people of Chinese origin, is not clear. We analyzed data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study to investigate whether smoking increases the risk of kidney failure.


The Singapore Chinese Health Study is a population-based cohort of 63,257 Chinese adults enrolled between 1993 and 1998. Information on smoking status was collected at baseline. Incidence of kidney failure was identified via record linkage with the nationwide Singapore Renal Registry until 2008. Kidney failure was defined by one of the following: 1) serum creatinine level of more than or equal to 500 µmol/l (5.7 mg/dl), 2) estimated glomerular filtration rate of less than 15 ml/min/1.73 m(2), 3) undergoing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, 4) undergone kidney transplantation. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was performed for the outcome of kidney failure after adjusting for age, education, dialect, herbal medications, body mass index, sex, physician-diagnosed hypertension and diabetes mellitus.


The mean age of subjects was 55.6 years at baseline, and 44% were men. Overall 30.6% were ever smokers (current or former) at baseline. A total of 674 incident cases of kidney failure occurred during a median follow-up of 13.3 years. Among men, smokers had a significant increase in the adjusted risk of kidney failure [hazard ratio (HR): 1.29; 95% CI: 1.02-1.64] compared to never smokers. There was a strong dose-dependent association between number of years of smoking and kidney failure, (p for trend = 0.011). The risk decreased with prolonged cessation (quitting ≥10 years since baseline). The number of women smokers was too few for conclusive relationship.


Information on baseline kidney function was not available.


Cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk of kidney failure among Chinese men. The risk appears to be dose- and duration-dependent and modifiable after long duration of cessation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jin, A; Koh, W-P; Chow, KY; Yuan, J-M; Jafar, TH

Published Date

  • January 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 5

Start / End Page

  • e62962 -

PubMed ID

  • 23671645

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3650019

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0062962


  • eng