Chronic Kidney Disease and the Adiposity Paradox: Valid or Confounded? Journal of renal nutrition : the official journal of the Council on Renal Nutrition of the National Kidney Foundation Ziolkowski, S. L., Long, J., Baker, J. F., Chertow, G. M., Leonard, M. B. 2019


OBJECTIVE: Obesity, defined by body mass index (BMI), is associated with lower mortality risk in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). BMI and % body fat (%BF) are confounded by muscle mass, while DXA derived fat mass index (FMI) overcomes this limitation. We compared the associations between obesity and mortality in persons with CKD using multiple estimates of adiposity, and determined whether muscle mass, inflammation and weight loss modify these associations.METHODS: Obesity was defined using BMI and DXA-derived FMI and %BF cut-offs in 2,852 NHANES participants with CKD from 1999-2006 and linked to the National Death Index with follow up through 2011. Cox proportional hazards models assessed associations between mortality and measures of obesity.RESULTS: Obesity based on FMI and continuous variables, FMI, BMI and %BF were associated with lower mortality. The protective association of obesity was less pronounced among participants with higher muscle mass and was no longer significant after adjustment for prior weight loss. Inflammation did not modify these associations.CONCLUSIONS: We observed lower mortality associated with higher fat mass, particularly among persons with lower muscle mass. The prevalence of >10% weight loss was half as common among obese compared to non-obese participants and confounded these associations.

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