Younger Age at Weight Gain Increases Later CKD Risk

People who are overweight by their mid-30s are more than twice as likely to experience chronic kidney disease (CKD) by their mid-60s, reports a study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The study included data on 5362 singleton children born during a single week in March 1946, drawn from a national health survey in the United Kingdom. A sample of 1794 participants with complete data was expanded to 4584 by multiple imputation analysis. Body mass index at age 20 to 26 (self-reported) and in subsequent decades of life (measured) was analyzed for association with CKD at age 60 to 64. The presence of CKD was based on estimated GFR (eGFR) of less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio of 3.5 mg/mmol or greater, or both.

With adjustment for social class in childhood and adulthood, being overweight at younger ages was associated with a higher risk of CKD at age 60 to 64. Cohort members who were overweight at age 26 or 36 had a twofold increase in risk of CKD before age 65, compared with those who never became overweight or who became overweight in their 60s.

The association between overweight in young adulthood and later CKD was only partly explained by adjustment for diabetes and hypertension. An increased waist-to-hip ratio at age 43 or 53 was also a risk factor for CKD at age 60 to 64. The associations were similar across different definitions of CKD.

The study is one of the first to assess the relationship between body weight at different ages and the risk of CKD later in life. On the basis of their data, the researchers estimate that in the United States, more than 36 percent of cases of CKD in the population aged 60 to 64 could be avoided if weight gain were prevented or delayed [Silverwood RJ, et al. Association between younger age when first overweight and increased risk for CKD. J Am Soc Nephrol 2013; 24:813–821].