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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Nov;28 Suppl 4:iv195-iv204. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft259. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Underweight, overweight and obesity in paediatric dialysis and renal transplant patients.

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ESPN/ERA-EDTA Registry, Department of Medical Informatics, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



The prevalence of childhood overweight is rising worldwide, but in children on renal replacement therapy (RRT) a poor nutritional status is still the primary concern. We aimed to study the prevalence of, and factors associated with, underweight and overweight/obesity in the European paediatric RRT population. Moreover, we assessed the evolution of body mass index (BMI) after the start of RRT.


We included 4474 patients younger than 16 years from 25 countries of whom BMI data, obtained between 1995 and 2010, were available within the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology/European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry. Prevalence estimates for under- and overweight/obesity were calculated using age and sex-specific criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO, 0-1 year olds) and the International Obesity Task Force cut-offs (2-15 year olds).


The prevalence of underweight was 3.5%, whereas 20.8% of the patients were overweight and 12.5% obese. Factors associated with being underweight were receiving dialysis treatment and infant age. Among transplanted recipients, a very short stature (OR: 1.64, 95% CI: 1.40-1.92) and glucocorticoid treatment (OR: 1.23, 95% CI: 1.03-1.47) were associated with a higher risk of being overweight/obese. BMI increased post-transplant, and a lower BMI and a higher age at the start of RRT were associated with greater BMI changes during RRT treatment.


Overweight and obesity, rather than underweight, are highly prevalent in European children on RRT. Short stature among graft recipients had a strong association with overweight, while underweight appears to be only a problem in infants. Our findings suggest that nutritional management in children receiving RRT should focus as much on the prevention and treatment of overweight as on preventing malnutrition.


children; nutritional status; overweight; renal replacement therapy; underweight

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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