Obese teens at higher risk for kidney disease

Washington: Being obese or overweight during adolescence may raise the risk of developing a debilitating kidney disease later in life, Israeli researchers say.

Teens in the study who were overweight at age 17 were three times more likely to have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) over the next 25 years, compared with the general population, according to the 25-year study of more than 1 million people. Obese teens were nearly seven times more likely to have ESRD, the study found.

The researchers, led by Dr. Asaf Vivante of the Israeli Defense Forces Medical Corps, used data gathered between 1967 and 1997 on 1.2 million adolescents who, at age 17, were examined for fitness for Israeli military service. The researchers tracked cases of ESRD using a national registry of the disease.

Results showed that 874 study participants (713 men, 161 women) were treated for ESRD over the next 25 years. This translates to a rate of 2.87 cases per 100,000 people yearly. Among those who were overweight at age 17, there were 6.08 cases per 100,000 people yearly, and among obese teens, there were 13.4 cases per 100,000 people yearly.

Researchers also estimated the association between BMI and treated diabetic ESRD and suggest that compared with normal weight adolescents, overweight adolescents at 17 years old had six times the risk for diabetic ESRD and obese adolescents at 17 years old had 19 times the risk for diabetic ESRD, according to the results.

"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," the authors note.

The study has been published by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.


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