Many doctors are not warning their obese patients of their risk of kidney disease. Lead author Dr. Michal Melamed said, “Even though chronic kidney disease typically manifests in older people, the disease can start much earlier but often is not recognized early on.”
The research team analyzed nearly 7,000 adults across the U.S. and found that 11 percent of Mexican Americans, and six percent of obese whites and blacks had elevated levels of protein albumin in their urine. Elevated albumin levels are an early warning sign of declining kidney function and an increased risk of chronic kidney disease.
Melamed added, “Clearly, clinicians and public health officials need to do more to identify and treat young people at risk for early progressive kidney disease so they can adopt the behavioral changes to prevent [kidney disease] from occurring.”
Nearly one-third of Americans are at risk for kidney disease, especially those of older age. “Because treatment options for [chronic kidney disease] are limited, prevention is the best approach for those at risk. A healthier lifestyle in young adults will go a long way toward promoting kidney health later in life,” Melamed explained.
Previous studies have shown that obesity could harm kidney function sooner than high blood pressure and diabetes, which are both risk factors for chronic kidney disease. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk of chronic kidney disease as well as your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, the conditions that can contribute to further health complications.