Remind your patients, their relatives and the policy makers in your country: Obesity threatens kidney health!

This year, World Kidney Day promotes education about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating healthy lifestyle and health policy measures. 

“ERA-EDTA is supporting World Kidney Day and is calling on its members to spread the theme "Healthy lifestyle for healthy kidneys!”, explains Professor Dr Andrzej Więcek, president President of the ERA-EDTA. 

“Nephrologists should remind patients and their relatives that obesity enhances kidney function decline in CKD patients who are not on renal replacement therapy. Vice versa, losing weight can slow disease progression – and we have to inform our patients about this interrelation. If patients know that the dependence on dialysis can be postponed for a few months or even years just by slimming down and adapting a healthy lifestyle, they will be highly encouraged to do so.”

However also policy makers have to be informed that obesity causes impairment of renal function in the long run. It is widely known that obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke and even cancer, but so far, it has not really been linked with chronic kidney disease (CKD), at least not in the public awareness. “Obesity is even a very strong risk factor for CKD, acting indirectly via diabetes and hypertension as well as directly by shifting various fat hormone levels, which leads to inflammation, oxidative stress, abnormal lipid metabolism, activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and increased production of insulin and insulin resistance. The public needs to be aware of this risk”, confirms Professor Więcek.

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