Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Obese teenagers risk kidney failure in later life, study warns

Unhealthy behaviours: Overweight teens could be storing up kidney problems for the future
Unhealthy behaviours: Overweight teens could be storing up kidney problems for the future
Overweight and obese teenagers are putting themselves at risk of kidney failure later in life, researchers say. They found the youngsters had between six and 19 times greater risk of developing end-stage renal disease within 25 years.

ESRD occurs when the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood. Those with the disease often need dialysis until an organ transplant can be performed. Children and adolescents with high body mass index often become obese adults, who have a higher risk of various chronic conditions such as diabetes.

A team from the Sheba Medical Centre at Tel Hashomer in Israel found overweight 17-year-olds had six times the risk for developing diabetic ESRD while obese 17-year-olds had 19 times the risk for developing the condition. The researchers looked at the medical records of 1.2 million 17 years olds between January 1967 and December 1997.

Dr Asaf Vivante said: 'In this long-term nationwide population-based study, overweight and obesity at age 17 years were strongly and positively associated with the incidence of future treated ESRD, although the absolute risk for ESRD remains low.' The study found 713 men and 161 women developed treated ESRD for an overall incidence rate of 2.87 cases per 100,000 person-years during more than 30 million follow-up person-years.

Compared to normal-weight adolescents, those adolescents who were overweight and obese had an increased future risk for treated ESRD, with incidence rates of 6.08 and 13.40 cases per 100,000 person-years respectively. Dr Vivante said: 'Although the results for diabetic ESRD were remarkable, with risks increasing six-fold and 19-fold among overweight and obese adolescents, respectively, our results also indicate a substantial association between elevated BMI and nondiabetic ESRD.'

Commenting on the findings Dr Kirsten Johansen of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center said: 'The association of obesity with ESRD is good news and bad news. 'The good news is that obesity represents a potentially modifiable risk factor, and control of weight and the hypertension and inactivity that often accompany excess adiposity could prevent or slow the development of some cases of ESRD and may potentially reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic kidney disease.

'The bad news is that it is not easy to address obesity. Although there is no evidence that it is ever too late to improve outcomes by increasing physical activity or shedding excess weight, the results reported by Dr Vivante highlight the potential advantages of starting early before chronic disease has developed and unhealthy lifestyles have become lifelong habits.' The study was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Daily Mail UK

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