Obesity, hypertension prevalent in growing number of children

Jim Kling

May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013

I stanbu l , Turkey - Obesity was associated with hypertension and impaired renal function in a population-based study of young people in Turkey, suggesting that the children and adolescents who were obese in the analysis will be at increased risk for chronic kidney disease as adults.

Previous studies looking at this issue have generally been conducted at screening centers in patients who are symptomatic. "We know that in a population-based study, you include the asymptomatic population," said Dr Ali Duzova (Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey).

Duzova presented the study results here at the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association 2013 Congress.

In addition to being associated with hypertension, metabolic syndrome, hyperlipidemia, sleep disorders, and type 2 diabetes, obesity is associated with an increased risk for kidney disease in adults.

Duzova and his team conducted house visits throughout Turkey. Their study cohort consisted of 3622 children and youth who were selected to be representative of geographic, sex, and age groups in Turkey.

In the study cohort, 8.9% of the children were obese (defined as a body-mass index in the 95th percentile for age and sex). Obesity increased the risk for hypertension (odds ratio 2.61, 95% CI 1.71-3.98; p<0.001).

"We found that the prevalence of chronic kidney disease was almost 50 to 100 times" that suggested by studies based on referral centers, said Duzova.

GFR in the study cohort

All c hildren
mL/min   per   1.73   m ² *
<90 ( % )
<75 ( % )


The obesity rate was somewhat smaller than that found in some school-based screenings, said session moderator Dr Mustafa Arici (Hacettepe University), who was not involved in the study.

However, the large percentage of children with high blood pressure "means that when these children grow up and start moving less and less, they will be more obese, more hypertensive," said Arici.

These results are concerning because children in the developing world are becoming increasingly exposed to fast food. "In the Western world, there are some restrictions; limitations have started to be imposed," Arici noted. "But Turkey is in the developing world where there is huge access to fast food," he added.

T his study was funded by Fresenius Medical Care. Duzova and Arici have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


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