Children with Mild Kidney Disease suffer from Poor Growth, and Delayed Puberty

In a study yet to be published in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN), researchers state that delayed puberty, poor growth, and heart problems can be attributed to mild or moderate kidney function impairment in children. The advancement of kidney disease in children can be limited by developing therapies for these conditions.

Nearly 35% fatalities in young adults with chronic kidney disease are caused by heart disease. Susan Furth, MD, PhD, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and her colleagues studied 586 chronic kidney disease children to determine what childhood aspects contribute to the development of kidney problems and what is the extent of severity of the kidney problems that can lead to heart disease.

The major findings of the study revealed that children with moderately impaired kidneys suffered from poor growth, metabolic problems (such as pH and electrolyte imbalances), delayed puberty, and high blood pressure.
Despite administering medications to treat these conditions in children, they relapsed and were more frequent with the impairment in kidney function.

Dr. Furth said, “We were hoping to identify risk factors for CKD progression and see if these can be targeted to slow the decline of kidney function and prevent its complications. Our findings suggest that more aggressive interventions to improve blood pressure and metabolic abnormalities may be areas where interventions could slow chronic kidney disease progression and decrease the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in children and young adults with chronic kidney disease. The next step will be to design clinical trials of these interventions based on our findings.”

Study co-authors include Alison Abraham, PhD, Judith Jerry-Fluker (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; George Schwartz, MD (University of Rochester Medical Center); Mark Benfield, MD (Pediatric Nephrology of Alabama); Frederick Kaskel, MD, PhD (Albert Einstein Yeshiva University); Craig Wong, MD (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque); Robert Mak, MD, PhD (University of California at San Diego); Marva Moxey-Mims, MD (National Institutes of Health); and Bradley Warady, MD (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine).

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