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Obesity Prevents Patients From Receiving a Kidney Transplant

scale and tape measure

May 1, 2023

By Greg Richter

Obesity is a risk factor for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and it can prevent an ESKD patient from becoming eligible for a life-saving kidney transplant.

New findings from researchers at Drexel’s College of Medicine, Dornsife School of Public Health and College of Nursing and Health Professions – in conversations with patients and clinical teams – suggests that critical weight management conversations between patients and their care teams simply aren’t happening, and the communication breakdown doesn’t end there.

Although Medicare covers nutritional care by renal dietitians for ESKD patients and United States transplant programs must also include nutrition experts on their multidisciplinary teams, patients report that support for weight management is usually insufficient and sometimes non-existent in dialysis and other ESKD healthcare settings.

Providers admitted to often feeling uncomfortable talking to patients about weight and nutrition and described many communications-based challenges that prevent patients from learning how to lose the weight they need for a life-saving transplant.

The team’s insights, recently published in the journal AJKD, came from interviews with 40 adult ESKD patients with obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2) who were currently on dialysis about their experiences with obesity and weight loss, and 20 ESKD health professionals who were caring for ESKD patients.

Read the full news article on the Drexel News Blog: Obesity Prevents Patients From Receiving a Kidney Transplant