Study Links Adolescent BMI to Adult CKD


Jan 4, 2024

Study Links Adolescent BMI to Adult CKD

The Hidden Dangers of High BMI in Adolescence: A Pathway to Chronic Kidney Disease in Adulthood


Did you know that the health choices and conditions during adolescence could significantly influence your risk of developing chronic illnesses in adulthood? A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics has shed light on a startling connection: high Body Mass Index (BMI) in late adolescence is linked to an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in young adulthood.

Understanding the Risks

Obesity in adolescents, alarmingly on the rise, poses more than just immediate health concerns. Dr. Avishai M. Tsur and colleagues from the Sheba Medical Center in Israel have highlighted a crucial long-term risk. Surprisingly, even those with a high-normal BMI aren't safe from this risk. This discovery is particularly concerning given the growing obesity rates among adolescents in the United States, where about 20% are now at or above the 95th percentile for age and sex on the CDC growth charts.

Study Insights

The study involved a comprehensive analysis of over half a million Israeli adolescents. Excluding those with existing kidney issues, hypertension, or dysglycemia, the researchers followed these individuals over an average of 13.4 years. The findings were striking: even without traditional obesity-related comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, adolescents with higher BMIs faced a significantly increased risk of developing early CKD.

Gender-Specific Findings

The study showed a varying degree of risk based on gender. Males with severe obesity during adolescence had a dramatically higher risk, followed by those with mild obesity, overweight, and high-normal BMI. Similarly, females with severe obesity faced the highest risk, followed by those with mild obesity, overweight, and high-normal BMI.

The Larger Picture

These findings aren't just numbers; they're a wake-up call. Early CKD in young adulthood, potentially developing before 30 years of age, signals a looming public health issue. With rising obesity rates in adolescents, we're potentially looking at a future burdened by increased CKD and subsequent cardiovascular diseases.

Action Steps

What can we do? Awareness is the first step. Understanding the long-term effects of high BMI during adolescence is crucial. Parents, educators, and healthcare providers must work together to encourage healthier lifestyles among adolescents. Regular medical check-ups, balanced diets, and physical activity should be part of every teenager's life.


The link between high BMI in adolescence and early onset of chronic kidney disease is a reminder of the interconnectedness of our health choices and their long-term impacts. Let's use this knowledge to drive positive changes in adolescent health behaviors, steering the next generation towards a healthier future.

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About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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