Bregenz, Innsbruck The database of the working group for preventive and social medicine is still bubbling up and is still good for attracting international attention. A current example is a long-term study on obesity and kidney failure, which included the data of 100,269 people who underwent health checks in Vorarlberg between 1985 and 2005.
The study appeared in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). It was carried out by a team led by Josef Fritz from the Med Uni Innsbruck and senior physician Emanuel Zitt from the LKH Feldkirch. The aim was to assess the long-term risk of irreparable kidney failure requiring dialysis. It was shown that overweight and obesity alone do not lead to dialysis. What is relevant is what the measurements of the triglyceride glucose index – a new parameter for insulin resistance -, uric acid and blood pressure show.
The researchers compared the results of the first check-up, which was on average 23 years ago, with the entries in the Austrian Dialysis and Transplantation Register at the University Clinic for Internal Medicine IV. Using a complex mediation analysis, Fritz calculated the overall effect of obesity and the effect of the individual influencing factors on an imminent need for dialysis. A high TyG index and high blood pressure each contribute around a third to the risk of kidney failure due to being overweight and obese. The scientists were surprised that increased uric acid had an equally large influence of 30 percent because it had hardly been taken into account in the specialist literature. Obesity alone and cholesterol have a comparatively very low risk potential at one and two percent respectively.
Of the 100,269 study participants whose data was provided by aks, 32.4 percent showed metabolic risks during their first health check-up, and 463 people (0.5 percent) developed kidney failure in the years that followed. The good news: All risk factors can be modified with lifestyle changes or appropriate therapy. “A normal weight, normal blood pressure and a healthy metabolism are probably a very good guarantee for lifelong freedom from dialysis,” says Emanuel Zitt, summing up the results.