TUESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- A large waist size is
unhealthy for anyone, but for kidney disease patients, those extra
pounds around the middle may double the risk of dying, a new study
The study doesn't prove that having a big waist caused patients
to die, but it suggests there may be a link.
In their research, investigators examined the medical records of
more than 5,800 adults aged 45 and older who had kidney disease.
The patients were tracked for a median of four years. Just under 12
percent -- 686 patients -- died during that time.
The average body-mass index (BMI) of those who died was 29.2,
slightly lower than that of those who survived (30.3), the study
authors reported. BMI is a measurement that takes into account
height and weight.
People with BMIs in the range of 25 to 29.9 are considered
overweight, while those in the range of 30 and higher are
The investigators found that bigger waistlines appeared to be a
better indicator of who might die. Women with a waist equal to or
greater than 42.5 inches and men with waists equal to or greater
than 48 inches were 2.1 times more likely to die compared to those
with smaller waists (31.5 inches for women and 37 inches for
Therefore, the researchers pointed out, BMI alone may not be the
best tool to figure out how obesity in a kidney disease patient may
affect their risk of death.
"In contrast, waist circumference reflects abdominal adiposity [fat] alone and may be a useful measure to determine mortality risk associated with obesity in adults with chronic kidney disease, especially when used in conjunction with BMI," the researchers concluded in a Loyola University news release.
The study, by Loyola University Health System researcher Dr.
Holly Kramer and colleagues, was released online in advance of
publication in an upcoming print issue of the
American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
For more about kidney disease, try the
U.S. National Library of Medicine.