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People with apple-shaped bodies at risk for kidney disease

High blood pressure in the kidneys of people with apple-shaped bodies may put them at greater risk of developing kidney disease later in life, according to a new study.

The study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) suggests that these patients may benefit from treatments that reduce renal arterial pressure.

People with bodies as “apple” – when fat is concentrated in the abdominal area – are more likely than those with bodies “pear-shaped” for the development of kidney disease.

To study the issue, Arjan Kwakernaak, University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands and his colleagues looked for links between waist-hip ratio, reflecting the central distribution of body fat, and measures of kidney in 315 individuals healthy with a mean body mass index of 24.9 kg per square meter.

Ratios higher waist to hip ratio were associated with reduced renal function, reduced renal blood flow and increased blood pressure within the kidneys.

“We found that people with apple shape – but totally healthy and normal blood pressure -. Having high blood pressure in the kidneys when also overweight or obese, this is even worse,” said Kwakernaak.

This suggests that high blood pressure in the kidneys of people with apple-shaped bodies may be responsible for their increased risk of developing kidney disease later in life.

Previous studies have shown that high blood pressure in the kidneys can be treated by salt restriction or with drugs that block what is known as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

“Our current data suggest that such interventions may be particularly useful in patients with a central distribution of body fat,” said Kwakernaak.