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Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

Obesity: Weight in YOUR Kidney

Posted by feww on February 18, 2010

Health Information – Public Release: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Obesity—mild or severe—raises kidney stone risk

Obesity in general nearly doubles the risk of developing kidney stones, but the degree of obesity doesn’t appear to increase or decrease the risk one way or the other, a new study from Johns Hopkins shows.

A 6×8mm Kidney Stone. Credit: Robert R. Wal

“The common thinking was that as weight rises, kidney stone risk rises as well, but our study refutes that,” says study leader Brian R. Matlaga, assistant professor of urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of stone diseases and ambulatory care at Hopkins’ James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute. “Whether someone is mildly obese or morbidly obese, the risk for getting kidney stones is the same.”

The findings are published in the February Journal of Urology.

Over the last decade, several epidemiological studies have shown a strong connection between obesity and kidney stone disease. However, as obesity continues to rise worldwide, Matlaga and his colleagues wondered whether different subcategories of obesity, ranging from mildly to morbidly obese, presented different risks.

To answer the question, the researchers used a national insurance claims database to identify 95,598 people who had completed a “health risk assessment” form with information about their body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat calculated by dividing weight by height, and a general indicator of underweight, healthy weight, or overweight. The database, which spanned over a five-year period from 2002 to 2006, also had encoded information indicating whether these individuals had been diagnosed with kidney stone disease.

Using a definition of obesity as having a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2 (which, in English measurements, corresponds to a 5 foot tall person who weighs 153 pounds, or a 6 foot tall person who weighs 221 pounds), the researchers calculated the incidence of kidney stones in people who were non-obese and in those who were obese. Among the non-obese individuals, 2.6 percent were diagnosed during the study period with kidney stones, compared to 4.9 percent of the obese individuals. When the investigators arranged those in the obese group by their BMIs, ranging from above 30 kg/m2 to more than 50 kg/m2, they found that the increased risk remained constant, regardless of how heavy the individuals were.

Matlaga says that he and his colleagues aren’t sure why obese people are more at risk for kidney stones, though metabolic or endocrine factors unique to obesity are likely reasons, along with dietary factors such as a high-salt diet. The researchers plan to study these potential risk factors in subsequent studies.


Other researchers who participated in this study include Michelle J. Semins, M.D., Andrew D. Shore, Ph.D., Martin A. Makary, M.D., M.P.H., Thomas Magnuson, M.D., and Roger Johns, M.D., M.P.H., all of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

For more information, go to:

Contact: Christen Brownlee
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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Posted in hyperuricosuria, Kidney, kidney stones, morbidly obese, Urology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Suffering from Liver Disease?

Posted by feww on May 30, 2009

Have Liver Disease?

A binge drinker? Substance abuser? Had an infectious disease?

NO? Then it must be the pollution!

Environmental pollution sharply increases the risk of liver disease

Pollutants may be responsible for large jump in the number of cases of liver disease, according to researchers.

A many as 33% of U.S. adults “showed signs of having liver disease not caused by normal triggers such as alcohol abuse and viral hepatitis.” A report said.

“While obesity is the primary driver of the increase, environmental pollution also may play a role, according to Dr. Matthew Cave of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, who is presenting his findings this weekend at the Digestive Disease Week conference in Chicago.”

“Our study shows that some of these cases may be attributable to environmental pollution, even after adjusting for obesity, which is another major risk factor for liver disease,” Cave said.

Cave and colleagues, who “studied the role of chemicals in liver disease in 4,500 people,”  found “chronic low-level exposure to 111 common pollutants,” including mercury, lead, PCBs and pesticides,” which accounted for otherwise “unexplained liver disease in adults,” in their national health and nutrition report conducted in 2003-2004.

More than 60 percent of subjects had abnormal liver enzymes which were associated with the pollutants.

“The association was significant even after adjusting for obesity, diabetes, race, sex and poverty, Cave said.”

“These results indicate that there may be a previously unexpected role for environmental pollution in the rising incidents of liver disease in the U.S. population and, clearly, more work needs to be done,” Cave said.

Nearly 100 forms of liver disease, which include  hepatitis,  cirrhosis of the liver and fatty liver disease, account for about $10 billion in healthcare costs  annually, and make chronic liver disease the 10th leading cause of death in the United states,  the American Liver Foundation said.

The sharp rise of liver disease in the United States is also in step with increases in the rates of obesity, which can impair liver function. The report said.

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Posted in abnormal liver enzymes, cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver disease, hepatitis | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »