Loyola Medicine Logo Kidney disease patients wary of their waist size may be concerned for the good. As per a study led by Loyola University Health System scientists, patients suffering from kidney problems who have a large waist size appear to face a higher risk of death.

Apparently, waist circumference was largely associated to mortality than another common measure of obesity namely body mass index (BMI). BMI is a height-to-weight ratio while waist circumference is simply the measure of the abdominal mass. Investigators observed information from 5,805 kidney patients aged 45 years and older and who enrolled for a study known as Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS). They all faced surveillance for an average of 4 years where it was found that 686 participants died during the course of the study.

The median BMI of the patients who passed away was 29.2 which were seemingly lower than the BMI of the patients who were alive. Contrarily, the mean waist circumference of the patients who faced demise seemed to be 40.1 inches which is apparently higher than the patients who survived and had a waistline of 39.1 inches.

Analysts drew a comparison between kidney disease patients with large waist size to normal waistline counterparts. The BMI and other risk factors were suitably adjusted and it came to fore that those women with a waist size equal to or higher than 42.5 inches and men with 48 inches or larger waist size supposedly faced a higher chance of dying. This was not the case for those who had a slimmer waistline which was almost 31.5 inches for women and 37 inches for men.

The scientists conclude that BMI may not be sufficient to gauge mortality risks linked to fat. This is mainly as BMI is inclusive of many factors like muscle mass and abdominal fat. Paradoxically, waist circumference is the measure of only the abdominal adiposity and may therefore be an essential tool to comprehend death risk linked with obese chronic kidney disease adults specifically when used collectively with BMI.

The study is published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.