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What is the link between obesity and chronic kidney disease?

Obesity can cause kidney disease both directly and indirectly; therefore, America's obesity epidemic is expected to increase rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Obesity directly causes kidney disease, because the kidneys have to work harder to filter out toxins and to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body mass index (BMI) in obese individuals. This is called hyperfiltration and in the long term, it is associated with increased risk of developing CKD. As an indirect cause, obesity increases the major CKD risk factors: type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Obese individuals should be screened for kidney disease on a regular basis. Weight loss can reduce risk for developing kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.