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Study explores risks of obesity in children with kidney transplants

enters are not performing transplants on extremely obese children because of those concerns. Also, obesity-related kidney disease, which occurs in extremely obese adults, is beginning to be seen in children.

The retrospective study of the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study was done in conjunction with Dr. Mark M. Mitsnefes, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio and The EMMES Corporation, a Rockville, Md.-based company that provides operational support for clinical and biomedical research.

Researchers found obese children generally got their transplants at an earlier age, 8.9 years versus 11 years; spent more time on dialysis than their leaner peers and were more frequent users of peritoneal dialysis, which takes place within the body. With peritoneal dialysis, patients put a sugar-rich sterile solution called dialysate into their abdominal cavity through a catheter. The dialysate pulls waste and excess fluid from the blood, which is drained from the abdomen. Although some say this approach is more natural than hemodialysis, where patients spend several hours typically three days a week hooked up to a machine that removes their blood, cleans it and returns it to them, the sugar-rich dialysate provides a lot of calories and can help contribute to obesity, Dr. Hanevold says.

Children who develop kidney failure at a young age have difficulty gaining height and weight and, ironically, nutritional supplements some children are given to help them grow normally may contribute to obesity as well, she says. "If you don't get renal failure until you are older, then you usually grow to be a pretty good size before kidney failure started making it hard for you to grow tall," she says. "In the young children, we provide a lot of nutritional support, hoping to ensure normal growth, but sometimes they grow more out than up."

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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
7-Feb-2005


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