As obesity rate grows, so does kidney damage

May 8, 2014

Adding to the long list of bodily damage done by obesity, researchers now find that a significant number of children and adolescents-close to 1 in 5-who are severely obese have evidence of kidney abnormalities.

 

Adding to the long list of bodily damage done by obesity, researchers now find that a significant number of children and adolescents-close to 1 in 5-who are severely obese have evidence of kidney abnormalities.

Scientists from Ohio included 242 adolescents with a mean age of 17 years and a median body mass index (BMI) of 50.5 kg/m2 in their Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) study and presented their findings at the recent National Kidney Foundation’s 2014 Spring Clinical Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada. They assessed kidney function before and after weight loss surgery by measuring the participants’ albumin creatinine ratio to determine microalbuminuria and by calculating cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to determine kidney function.

Three-quarters of the participants were female, and two-thirds were non-Hispanic white. Before surgery, 17% had microalbuminuria; 3% had an abnormally low eGFR at <60 mL/min/1.73 m2; and 3.5% had an abnormally high eGFR at >150 mL/min/1.73m2.

The researchers found that higher BMI was associated with low eGFR, and that females were more likely than males to have protein in their urine.

The investigators hope to continue their work to discover whether the kidney abnormalities reverse following bariatric surgery. Previous studies have shown that childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of kidney disease in adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in every 6 children and adolescents in this country is obese, triple the rate of just one generation ago. 


 

 

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