Exposure to excessive heat can impact kidney health. Climate change is projected to aggravate this impact. An analysis of articles published between 1958 and 2021 was conducted to explore the progress of the research on this issue.
This study included a bibliometric analysis wherein Web of Science was used to generate a list of all published articles related to the impact of heat on kidney health. Basic information about the articles, such as titles, authors’ names, keywords, and citations, were recorded and analyzed.
A total of 226 published articles related to the impact of heat on kidney health were identified as of November 20, 2021. Most of these articles (93%) were published within the last decade. The United States was the most prominent country in terms of research productivity and collaboration. Researchers from the United States were well represented among the top 20 contributors of published articles on the study issue. The productivity of the top 20 authors varied between 6 and 32 articles each. A total of 25 common words used by the authors were identified. The most frequently used keywords were chronic kidney disease, heat stress, acute kidney injury, Mesoamerican nephropathy, and climate change. Keyword analysis revealed 3 distinct major research clusters in the existing scientific research on the impact of heat on kidney health: chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology, heat stress and renal physiology, and the effect of climate change on kidney health.
Research on heat-related kidney injury has witnessed rapid development in recent decades, motivated by the emergence of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology and climate change. Developing countries in hot regions must increase their productivity in this research area through international collaboration and partnerships.