There’s something important doctors aren’t telling obese adults

There’s something important doctors aren’t telling obese adults

Adults aren't finding out that they are at risk of this deadly disease until later in life.

Obese adults aren’t getting an extremely important bit of information from their doctors, and it may cost them down the line.

Obese young adults often don’t realize they are at an increased risk for kidney disease, something that often doesn’t affect people until they’re older but starts to manifest itself early on in the body, according to an Albert Einstein College of Medicine report.

To come to their conclusions, a team of scientists analyzed data from 7,000 adults between the ages of 20 and 40 across the nation. They found that 11 percent of obese Mexican-Americans and 6 percent of obese white and black people had elevated levels of albumin, a protein, in the urine. This results in a condition called albuminuria, which indicates that the kidneys aren’t function as they should, putting people at risk of developing chronic kidney disease down the line.

And adults aren’t finding out when they need to. Young adults with albuminuria knew they had some form of kidney disease less than 5 percent of the time. It’s not a small segment of the population that is at risk here: a third of Americans are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease during their lifetime, but usually they don’t find out until they are much older and it’s too late to deal with the problem.

“Even though chronic kidney disease typically manifests in older people, the disease can start much earlier but often is not recognized early on,” said study leader Michal L. Melamed, M.D., associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology & public health at Einstein and attending physician, nephrology at Montefiore Health System. “Because treatment options for CKD 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.”

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