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Abstract: FR-PO176

Long-Term Incense Use and the Risk of ESRD

Session Information

Category: CKD (Non-Dialysis)

  • 1901 CKD (Non-Dialysis): Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Prevention


  • Geng, Tingting, National University of Singapore , Singapore, Singapore
  • Jafar, Tazeen H., Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore
  • Yuan, Jian-Min, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Koh, Woon-puay, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore

Animal study suggests exposure to incense burning has deleterious effects on kidney function and architecture. However, the association between domestic incense burning and risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has not been reported previously.


We investigated this association in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective population-based cohort of 63,257 Chinese men and women of 45-74 years of age in Singapore at recruitment during 1993-1998. Information on the practice of incense burning at home, diet, lifestyle and medical history was collected at baseline interviews. ESRD cases were identified through linkage analysis with the nationwide Singapore Renal Registry through 2015. We used Cox proportional hazards regression analysis to estimate hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of ESRD associated with domestic incense burning.


Among cohort participants, 76.9% were current incense users. After an average 17.5 years of follow-up, 1,217 (1.92%) ESRD cases were documented. Compared to never users, the multivariable-adjusted HR for ESRD was 1.05 (95% CI, 0.80 to 1.38) for former users and 1.26 (95% CI, 1.02 to1.57) for current users of incense. The ESRD risk was restricted only to current daily users with a history of more than 20 years; HR was 1.25 (95% CI, 1.07 to 1.46), compared with non-current users. Conversely, those who did not use incense daily or those who had used daily for ≤ 20 years had no increased risk.


Our findings demonstrate that long-term daily exposure to domestic incense burning could be associated with a higher risk of ESRD in Singapore Chinese.


  • Other NIH Support