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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59071. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059071. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Waist circumference, not body mass index, is associated with renal function decline in korean population: hallym aging study.

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  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, Korea.



Prospective investigation of obesity and renal function decline in Asia is sparse. We examined the associations of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) with renal function decline in a prospective study of Korean population.


A total of 454 participants who had baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) levels of more than 60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) in Hallym Aging Study (HAS) were included and followed for 6 years. Renal function decline was defined as follows: (1) an eGFR decline ≥3 mL/min/1.73 m(2)/year (n = 82 cases); (2) an eGFR decrease of 20% or greater (n = 87 cases) at follow-up; (3) an eGFR decrease of 20% greater at follow-up or eGFR decline ≥3 mL/min/1.73 m(2)/year (n = 91 cases); and (4) an eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) at follow-up (n = 54 cases). eGFR was determined based on the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study equation. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine the association between obesity and renal function decline.


We found that central obesity was associated with faster renal function decline. Comparing WC of >95 cm in men or >90 cm in women with ≤90 cm in men or ≤85 cm in women, ORs (95% CIs) ranged from 2.31 (1.14-4.69) to 2.78 (1.19-6.50) for the 4 definitions of renal function decline (all p-values for trend <0.05). Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) also was associated with renal function decline. There was no significant association of BMI with renal function decline.


Central obesity, but not BMI, is associated with faster renal function decline in Korean population. Our results provide important evidence that simple measurement of central fat deposition rather than BMI could predict decline in renal function in Korean population.

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