Obesity, Fitness, and Kidney Health: The Weighty Impact of Walking Pace

This study focused on understanding the relationship between obesity, physical fitness, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) among adults in the United States. Chronic kidney disease is a serious health condition, and obesity is known to increase the risk of developing CKD. The study aimed to investigate if weight gain and slow walking pace (indicating poor physical fitness) were associated with a higher risk of CKD in adults who were obese but did not have diabetes or reduced kidney function at the start of the study.

The researchers analyzed data from a diverse group of adults over a period of several years. They found that adults who gained weight over time had an increased risk of developing CKD compared to those who maintained a stable weight. Additionally, individuals with a slow walking pace, indicating lower physical fitness, also had a higher risk of CKD. These associations were observed regardless of whether the CKD diagnosis was based on estimated kidney function (eGFR) or a marker of kidney damage (UACR). Notably, the study did not find a significant link between weight loss and reduced risk of CKD, suggesting that preventing weight gain might be more crucial in this context.

The study's findings highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and good physical fitness, especially for individuals who are obese. Preventing weight gain and improving physical activity could potentially reduce the risk of developing chronic kidney disease in this population. However, further research is needed to confirm these results and explore potential interventions to help adults maintain a healthy weight and improve their fitness levels, thereby reducing their risk of CKD.

Source: Harhay MN, Kim Y, Moore K, Harhay MO, Katz R, Shlipak MG, Mattix-Kramer HJ. Modifiable Kidney Disease Risk Factors Among Nondiabetic Adults with Obesity from the Multi-Ethnic Study Of Atherosclerosis: Obesity (Silver Spring). 2023; 1-10.