Jim Kling

May 24, 2013

ISTANBUL, Turkey — The high rate of obesity in young people suggests that their risk for chronic kidney disease as adults will be high.

This finding comes from a population-based study conducted to evaluate the effect of obesity on hypertension and glomerular filtration rate.

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 Ali Duzova, MD, professor of pediatric nephrology at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey.

Dr. Duzova presented the study results here at the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association 50th 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.

Dr. 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) and 6.1% were hypertensive (odds ratio, 2.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.71 - 3.98; < .001)

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

Table. Glomerular Filtration Rate in the Study Cohort

Glomerular Filtration Rate All Children Obese Nonobese
mL/min per 1.73 m²* 122.7 129.4
<90, % 3.1 4.9 2.8
<75, % 0.8 1.2 0.7
*< .001


The obesity rate was somewhat smaller to that found in some school-based screens, said session moderator Mustafa Arici, MD, professor of nephrology at 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 Dr. 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," Dr. Arici noted. "But Turkey is in the developing world where there is huge access to fast food," he added.

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

European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) 50th Congress: Abstract SO029. Presented May 19, 2013.


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