A study from the University ofCalifornia at San Francisco was able tolink the effects of obesity with end-stagerenal disease (kidney failure). Researchersreviewed data from >320,000members of Kaiser Permanente healthcare system, whose height and weightwere tracked between 1964 and 1995.Of the study group, 1471 participantsdeveloped end-stage renal disease duringthe follow-up (average time to followupwas about 26 years). Even afteradjusting for obvious factors, such ashigh blood pressure and diabetes,researchers found that being overweightor obese also was an important risk factor.According to Chi-yuan Hsu,MD, assistantprofessor of medicine and leadauthor, even moderately overweight peoplehad a higher risk of kidney failurethan those whose body weight was inthe normal, healthy range. The risk forthose who were morbidly obese was>700% greater. Dr. Hsu concluded,"Thereare more and more people with kidneyfailure, but it hasn't yet been appreciatedthat kidney failure can be a consequenceof obesity."
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.