-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one-fifth of
severely obese teens have poor kidney function, a small new study
The study included 242 severely obese teens taking part in
research on weight-loss surgery.
Seventeen percent of the teens had protein in their urine, which
is an early sign of kidney damage. In addition, 7 percent had
indications that their kidneys were working too hard, and 3 percent
showed evidence of progressive loss of kidney function, the
Girls were more likely than boys to have protein in their urine,
while those with the highest body-mass index scores (BMI) -- an
estimate of body fat based on height and weight -- and those with
reduced insulin sensitivity were more likely to show signs of
progressive loss of kidney function.
The study, scheduled for presentation Friday at a National
Kidney Foundation meeting in Las Vegas, is believed to be the first
to examine kidney function in a large group of severely obese
"We plan to continue following them up after [weight-loss] surgery procedures. It will be very important to see whether their kidney function improves after surgical weight loss," study author Dr. Nianzhou Xiao, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a kidney foundation news release.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
"Severe obesity is increasing and now affects 4 percent to 6 percent of U.S. children and adolescents," Dr. Beth Piraino, president of the National Kidney Foundation, said in the news release. "If untreated, obesity during adolescence is associated with a higher prevalence of chronic kidney disease and other serious conditions in adulthood, making obesity a huge public health burden," she added.
"This study indicates that kidney dysfunction is present in childhood obesity along with such complications as high blood pressure or diabetes. Lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and healthy eating are critical to improving the overall health of the American population and need to start with our youth," Piraino noted.
Although the study found a connection between severe obesity and
signs of kidney problems in teens, it did not establish a
The U.S. National Kidney Disease Education Program explains how
keep your kidneys healthy.
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