Kidney Disease, Abdominal Obesity Linked in Young Adults

Kidney Disease, Abdominal Obesity Linked in Young Adults

Abdominal obesity could be linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD) especially in young Mexican-American adults, a new study showed. Greater awareness of CKD is needed in order to protect young adults from additional problems in the future, the authors said.

The study,“Abdominal Obesity, Race and Chronic Kidney Disease in Young Adults: Results from NHANES 1999-2010,” was led by researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and was published in PLOS One.

“Even though chronic kidney disease typically manifests in older people, the disease can start much earlier but often is not recognized,” Dr. Michal L. Melamed, the senior author of the study said in a press release. “Because treatment options for CKD are limited, prevention is the best approach for those at risk. A healthier lifestyle in young adults will go a long way toward promoting kidney health later in life.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2010, on nearly 7,000 young U. S. adults aged 20 to 40 years old, by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The analysis showed that one-third of the young adults surveyed were obese, with the condition  most prevalent among non-Hispanic blacks, followed by Mexican-Americans, and then non-Hispanic whites.

Obese Mexican-Americans showed larger amounts and most instances (11%) of unhealthy elevated levels of the protein albumin in the urine, a condition called albuminurea, which is a sign of kidney disease even when blood pressure, glucose levels and insulin sensitivity were normal. In spite of finding albuminurea in the subjects, only 5% had been told they had CKD, regardless of ethnicity.

“Clearly, clinicians and public health officials need to do more to identify and treat young people at risk for early progressive kidney disease so they can adopt the behavioral changes to prevent CKD from occurring,” Dr. Melamed said.

CKD is a long-term progressive condition, which does not usually cause any symptoms until it reaches advanced stages. There is no cure for CKD. Prevention, by carefully managing conditions that are likely to cause it, is of great importance.

Abdominal obesity can be indicated by an absolute waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men, and more than 35 inches in women.

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