Environmental and parental risk factors for congenital solitary functioning kidney — a case–control study

SOFIA study group

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Background: The etiology of congenital solitary functioning kidney (CSFK) is largely unknown but likely includes various risk factors. We performed a case–control study to compare exposure to environmental and parental risk factors during embryonic kidney development between children with CSFK and healthy controls. Methods: We included 434 children with CSFK and 1302 healthy controls from the AGORA data- and biobank matched on year of birth. Exposure to potential risk factors was investigated using parental questionnaire data. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for each potential risk factor. Multiple imputation was used to deal with missing values. Confounders for each potential risk factor were selected using directed acyclic graphs. Results: Maternal stress was newly identified as a risk factor for CSFK (aOR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2–3.5). Known associations with conception using in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (aOR 1.8, 95% CI 1.0–3.2), maternal infections during pregnancy (aOR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4–4.7), smoking during pregnancy (aOR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0–2.0), and parental CAKUT (aOR 6.6, 95% CI 2.9–15.1) were confirmed, but previous associations with diabetes and obesity could not be replicated. Folic acid supplement use and younger maternal age seemed to reduce the risk of CSFK (aORs 0.7, 95% CI 0.5–1.0, and 0.8, 95% CI 0.6–1.0, respectively). Conclusions: Environmental and parental risk factors are likely to be involved in the development of CSFK and future studies should combine genetic, environmental, and gene-environment interaction analyses. Women wanting to become pregnant should consider optimizing their health and lifestyle. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2631-2641
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number8
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract
  • Environmental risk factors
  • Etiology
  • Kidney development
  • Solitary functioning kidney

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