Newly Busted BMI Myth Offers Previously Ineligible CKD & Dialysis Patients A Second Chance At Life

Any Chronic Kidney Disease and/or Dialysis patient who has considered the Kidney Transplantation process is confronted with the issue of weight. Due to low energy levels as well as stress, medications and other health challenges associated with Kidney Failure, the average Body Mass Index (BMI - a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community is appearing to rise. While different Transplant Centers have varying weight requirements, in general being overweight "puts transplant patients at greater risk for complications and is often a reason for deciding that a patient is not a candidate for a transplant," according to the University of California San Francisco. Well,  the American Journal of Transplantation has recently found that, "For patients undergoing Kidney Transplantation, survival is unaffected by Body Mass Index (BMI)."

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Previous studies have suggested that a Body Mass Index that is greater than 35 at time of Kidney Transplant has "up to a 40% increased loss of a Kidney Transplant and approximately a 30% increased risk of death after Kidney Transplant compared to patients with a lower BMI." Such out-of-date findings have heavily influenced several Kidney Transplant Centers' policies. For instance, California Pacific Medical Center, announced in 2011 that they would change their weight policy given those findings and consider a Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patient's weight the same as Presence of vascular disease, Ongoing infection, and Recent Malignancy (cancer). They also instituted a "New BMI Policy for Kidney Transplant Surgery" which suggested that if patients are unable to achieve a 35 Body Mass Index or lower then "they will be taken off of the wait list.”

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Yet, are these measures fair given new findings which suggest that "BMI Doesn't Affect Kidney Transplant Survival?" Lead Author of the new study, Dr. Nithya Krishnan noted, "As BMI in the population is rising and likely to continue to rise, it is important that Renal Units respond to this challenge with positive attitude toward widening access to transplant."

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If considered by Kidney Transplant Centers, these findings could assist hundreds or even thousands of patients who were previously excluded, to be listed on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List making them eligible for a Living or Deceased Donor. If you have been rejected from the Kidney Transplant Waiting List or placed on the Inactive List due to being overweight, you may print this article and share it with your Healthcare Team who may reconsider your eligibility given these new findings. 

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That said, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients know that they should always try to find ways to remain as healthy as possible and improve their overall outcomes. For a bit of help with simple and tailored exercises which can be done by all stages (1 to 5) of Chronic Kidney Disease patients click here. Also, given the new findings do you think that maintaining current weight requirements is fair for all patients or do you believe that it is discriminatory? Do not keep your thoughts to yourself. We value your insights. Hence, click here to share your perspective with the over 24,800 Friends who have Liked on Facebook. For the latest Breaking News and Information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure how to better manage their lives, visit every day.   

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