Monday, March 03, 2008


Reading and Wondering

I read a news article in the Thursday February 28th edition of The Maui News which has kept me pondering for many days now. The headline read, "Doctors say kidney disease affects 1 in 7 residents of Hawaii." And since I've been living in Hawaii (Maui) for the last seventeen years, why wouldn't I pay attention to these odds?!

The article stated that Hawaii ranks highest in the nation for chronic kidney disease! And "if these numbers grow, clinics will be overwhelmed and the disease's toll will rise." Reading this made me wonder WHY, and I'm not buying the speculation printed in the article which suggested that the reason kidney disease is so prevalent is because it "more often affects minorities like Native Hawaiians, Filiponos and Japanese."

I think the cause is the Vog (volcanic pollution coming from Kilauea on the Big Island) which I've mentioned before in this blog. The vog is well known to cause respiratory problems in many residents, especially those with asthma. There are currently studies being done to determine what else the vog is doing to residents, and eventually, I think they're going to discover that vog is also impacting people's kidneys.

Many of my friends who aren't minorities have suffered with kidney problems, and they are all long-time residents of Hawaii. As I write this post this morning, I can barely see the West Maui Mountains or Upcountry because of the continuing voggy conditions. Yes, I'm concerned! I like my Maui with beautiful vivid blue skies!

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This is an interesting theory. I had read that article about the kidney disease also and just assumed it was due to a higher prevalence of diabetes among certai groups of people, etc. But perhaps you're right about the vog or some other environmental toxin.
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