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Western Diet Linked to Kidney Function DeclineWestern Diet Linked to Kidney Function Decline

February 1, 2011

1 Min Read
Western Diet Linked to Kidney Function Decline

BOSTONA diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and legumes may offer protection from loss of kidney function over time, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease.

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the effect of three different dietary patternsWestern, Prudent and DASHon change in kidney function over 11 years in 3,121 female participants in the Nurses' Health Study. Kidney dysfunction was determined by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which measures how well the kidney filters blood, and presence of microalbuminuria, a urinary protein that may be a marker of vascular disease and inflammation.

The findings revealed the Western style diet was associated with increased levels of albuminuria and increased risk of rapid eGFR decline, while the DASH-style diet was inversely associated with eGFR decline. The association persisted after controlling for other health factors such as smoking, activity level, obesity and diabetes.

"Traditional studies about diet and health focus on specific nutrients or foods, but dietary patterns may better reflect how people really eat," said Julie Lin, MD, MPH, lead author and a physician in the Renal Division at BWH. "We found that a diet that is low in red meat, saturated fat, and sweets but high in whole grains and fruit and vegetables may be associated with slower loss of kidney function over time."

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