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Why do people with apple-shaped bodies have an increased risk of kidney disease?

Date:
April 11, 2013
Source:
American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
Summary:
People with apple-shaped bodies tend to have lower kidney function, lower kidney blood flow, and higher blood pressure within the kidneys than people with pear-shaped bodies. The findings may help explain why people with apple-shaped bodies are more likely than those with pear-shaped bodies to develop kidney disease.

High blood pressure in the kidneys of people with apple-shaped bodies may be responsible for their increased risk of developing kidney disease later in life, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The findings suggest that these individuals may benefit from treatments that reduce kidney blood pressure.

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People with "apple-shaped" bodies -- when fat is concentrated mostly in the abdominal area -- are more likely than those with "pear-shaped" bodies to develop kidney disease. The mechanisms underlying this risk are not well understood.

To study the issue, Arjan Kwakernaak, MD/PhD candidate (University Medical Center Groningen, in The Netherlands) and his colleagues looked for links between waist-to-hip ratio, which reflects central body fat distribution, and kidney measures in 315 healthy individuals with an average body mass index of 24.9 kg/m2. (A body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2 is considered normal weight.)

Higher waist-to-hip ratios were associated with lower kidney function, lower kidney blood flow, and higher blood pressure within the kidneys.

"We found that apple-shaped persons -- even if totally healthy and with a normal blood pressure -- have an elevated blood pressure in their kidneys. When they are also overweight or obese, this is even worse," said Kwakernaak.

This suggests that elevated blood pressure in the kidneys of individuals with apple-shaped bodies may be responsible for their increased risk of developing kidney disease later in life. Previous studies have shown that high blood pressure in the kidneys can be treated through salt restriction or with drugs that block what is known as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. "Our current data suggest that such interventions could be particularly useful in subjects with a central body fat distribution," said Kwakernaak.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. J. Kwakernaak, D. M. Zelle, S. J. L. Bakker, G. Navis. Central Body Fat Distribution Associates with Unfavorable Renal Hemodynamics Independent of Body Mass Index. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2013; DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2012050460

Cite This Page:

American Society of Nephrology (ASN). "Why do people with apple-shaped bodies have an increased risk of kidney disease?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411194033.htm>.
American Society of Nephrology (ASN). (2013, April 11). Why do people with apple-shaped bodies have an increased risk of kidney disease?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411194033.htm
American Society of Nephrology (ASN). "Why do people with apple-shaped bodies have an increased risk of kidney disease?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411194033.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

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