Bari-Kidney Study

The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the last few decades, affecting more than one in three adults in the United States. Presence of class II and III obesity [body mass index (BMI) >=35 kg/m2] is associated with a greater than six-fold increased risk for end-stage renal disease. We and others have shown that reductions in weight are associated with decreased urine protein, which is a marker of kidney damage. However, there is little data on long-term effects of weight loss on kidney function. At Geisinger, one in five primary care patients has a BMI >= 35 kg/m2, and over 300 patients undergo bariatric surgery each year. We are conducting retrospective studies to examine the effect of bariatric surgery-induced weight loss and kidney function. Future study includes conducting a prospective study to investigate the effect of bariatric surgery on measured kidney function. Through funding from the National Institutes of Health, we are conducting studies to determine the long-term effects of bariatric surgery on kidney function. Future goals will be to test remote dietary counseling strategies in patients with kidney disease.