Obesity and Kidney Disease: Hidden Consequences of the Epidemic
Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic, and its prevalence has been projected to grow by
40% in the next decade. This increasing prevalence has implications for the risk of diabetes,
cardiovascular disease and also for chronic kidney disease (CKD).
A high body mass index is one of the strongest risk factors for new-onset CKD.
In individuals affected by obesity, a compensatory hyperfiltration occurs to meet
the heightened metabolic demands of the increased body weight.
The increase in intraglomerular pressure can damage the kidneys and raise the
risk of developing CKD in the long-term. The incidence of obesity-related glomerulopathy
has increased ten-fold in recent years.
Obesity has also been shown to be a risk factor for
nephrolithiasis, and for a number of malignancies including kidney cancer.
This year the “World Kidney Day” promotes education on the harmful consequences of obesity and its
association with kidney disease, advocating healthy lifestyle and health policy measures that
makes preventive behaviors an affordable option.
In 2014, over 600 million adults worldwide, 18 years and older, were obese. Obesity is a potent
risk factor for the development of kidney disease. It increases the risk of developing major risk
factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD), like diabetes and hypertension, and it has a direct
impact on the development of CKD and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
In individuals affected by obesity, a (likely) compensatory mechanism of hyperfiltration occurs to meet the heightened metabolic demands of the increased body weight. The increase in intraglomerular pressure can
damage the kidney structure and raise the risk of developing CKD in the long-term.
Nephrol Open J. 2017; 3(1): e3-e14. doi: 10.17140/NPOJ-3-e007