Greater Risk Of Morbidity When Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Are Overweight

For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the risk of elevated levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), or hyperparathyroidism — a significant complication that increases the risk of cardiovascular problems and death — increases along with body weight, reports a study in the September Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Obesity is an important risk factor for chronic kidney disease. The risk factor of chronic kidney disease is tripled for both men and women who are obese or Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 or higher.

“We knew that in people with normal kidney function obesity leads to impairment in vitamin D metabolism and elevated PTH levels, but this phenomenon was never studied in patients with CKD,” comments lead author Dr Csaba P. Kovesdy, of Salem VA Medical Center, in Salem, Va. “Since both obesity and hyperparathyroidism are very complex problems in CKD, establishing an association between the two is important because of potential prognostic and therapeutic implications.”

Parathyroid hormone plays an important role in maintaining normal bone structure. When hyperparathyroidism develops, it can lead not only to bone abnormalities but also to increased rates of cardiovascular disease and death. Although decreased kidney function is the main reason for hyperparathyroidism in CKD, other factors can also affect PTH levels.

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The larger the patient’s waist, the greater is the risk for chronic kidney disease. For each ten centimeter increase in waist circumference, there is a 34 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease.

A person with diabetes and blood pressure should be screened regularly for kidney problems. If chronic kidney disease is diagnosed early, treatment should be started to prevent the decrease in kidney function. If preventive measures are not taken, kidney failure can result. If kidney failure occurs, kidney transplant or dialysis is required.

The warning signs of kidney disease include more or less urination, loss of appetite, skin darkening, muscle cramps, and feeling drowsy.

The chronic kidney disease is detected in the early stages by a test for protein in the urine. If blood pressure and diabetes are also present, then treatment for those diseases is compulsory. The link between overweight and kidney disease is strong for diabetes related kidney problems.

The kidneys should be kept healthy by preventing diabetes and high blood pressure and maintaining healthy life style. Healthy lifestyle includes diet and exercise that reduces body fat. Modifying the diet and exercise are good ways to prevent overweight and in turn chronic kidney disease. Avoiding obesity also decreases the risk of kidney stones.