[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 28-Oct-2010
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Contact: Shari Leventhal
sleventhal@asn-online.org
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American Society of Nephrology

Low birth weight may lead to poor growth rate in children with kidney disease

IMAGE: This is Larry Greenbaum of Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga.

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The lower the birth weight, the greater the chance of poor growth rate in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

In the general population, low birth weight is not an important cause of poor growth and short stature. To determine whether low birth weight is a risk factor for poor growth in children with CKD, Larry Greenbaum, MD, PhD (Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA) and his colleagues analyzed results from the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Prospective Cohort (CKiD) study. Study participants included 426 out of the 586 children enrolled in the CKID study, all of whom had mild to moderate CKD and were in 48 pediatric nephrology centers across North America.

"This is the first study showing an association between low birth weight and poor growth in children with CKD," explains Dr. Greenbaum. "The study also demonstrates that children with CKD are more likely to be born with low birth weight than the general population. This occurs in children who are born with kidney disease and those who acquire kidney disease during childhood. It is possible that low birth weight is a risk factor for the development of kidney disease during childhood."

Limitations: This study shows an association between low birth weight and poor growth in children with CKD but does not prove that the low birth weight causes poor growth. The study also does not indicate why low birth weight may lead to poor growth in children with CKD.

IMAGE: This is Alvaro Muņoz of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, epidemiology.

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Take-away message: Additional research is needed to determine if being born small increases the risk of developing kidney disease during childhood. Previous research has shown that adults who were smaller at birth were more likely to have kidney disease.

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Study co-authors include Alvaro Muņoz, Michael F. Schneider (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Epidemiology), Frederick J. Kaskel (Montefiore Hospital, Pediatric Nephrology), David J. Askenazi (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Nephrology), Randall Jenkins (Emanuel Children's Hospital, Pediatrics), Hilary Hotchkiss (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), Marva Moxey-Mims, MD (National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease), Susan L. Furth (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Pediatric Nephrology), Bradley A. Warady (Childrens Mercy Hospital, Pediatrics). Dr. Munoz, Dr. Furth and Dr. Warady are the lead investigators on the NIH-sponsored CKiD study, an ongoing observational study of children with CKD.

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures. The CKiD prospective cohort study is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, with additional funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke.

The article, entitled "The Association between Abnormal Birth History and Growth in Children with CKD," will appear online at http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/ on October 28, 2010, doi 10.2215/CJN.08481109.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is the world's largest professional society devoted to the study of kidney disease. Comprised of 11,000 physicians and scientists, ASN continues to promote expert patient care, to advance medical research, and to educate the renal community. ASN also informs policymakers about issues of importance to kidney doctors and their patients. ASN funds research, and through its world-renowned meetings and first-class publications, disseminates information and educational tools that empower physicians.



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