The rising prevalence and incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have been noted around the world. However, no study has been conducted to examine the effect of surrounding environment on incidence of ESRD. This study assessed the associations of exposure to PM2.5 level and surrounding green spaces, separately, with incidence of ESRD in Taiwan. Demographic and clinical data used in this study was retrieved from the National Health Insurance Research Database from 2003 to 2012. PM2.5 data collected from the Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan and a hybrid land-use regression model was used to approximate long-term exposure to PM2.5. Percentage of exposure to surrounding green spaces was used to determine individual exposure level. Cox proportional hazards models with a generalized estimating equation were applied to investigate the effect of surrounding environment on incidence of ESRD. The results showed significant positive association between exposure to PM2.5 level and incidence of ESRD; but inverse association between exposure to surrounding green spaces and incidence of ESRD (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.00–1.15 for exposure to PM2.5 level; AHR = 0.90, 95%CI: 0.84–0.98 for surrounding green spaces). Together, the findings from this study have added suggestive evidence on the adverse effect of exposure to PM2.5 level and the beneficial effect of exposure to surrounding green spaces on the incidence of ESRD in a general population in Taiwan.
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