Background: Kidney transplantation in obese patients [body mass index (BMI) >30 kg/m(2)] is associated with a poorer outcome, and these patients are therefore often excluded from transplant waiting lists. Conventional weight loss strategies based on a high fibre, low energy diet and exercise are often unsuitable in the chronic kidney disease (CKD) population. A comprehensive multidisciplinary weight management programme comprising a low fat, reduced energy diet, individual exercise prescription and pharmacotherapy with orlistat 120 mg tds, was initiated to determine whether obese patients with CKD could reach an acceptable weight for transplantation.
Methods: Thirty-two patients who completed 12 months in the programme were monitored regularly for weight and waist circumference measures as well as exercise performance tests. Twenty-two patients formed a contemporaneous control group. Exercise performance tests included the 6 min timed walk test (6MTWT), sit to stand transfers in 60 s (STS60), timed up and go 3 m (TUAG) and the Duke's activity status index (DASI), a measure of functional ability.
Results: Friedman's test analyses were performed to assess differences between baseline and 12-month data. Mean body weight reduced by 7.1% from 102.9 kg to 95.7 kg (P<0.001) This equates to a reduction in BMI from 35.7 kg/m(2) at baseline to 33.2 kg/m(2) at 12 months. Waist circumference decreased by 12.9 cm from 112.9 cm to 100.0 cm (P<0.005) at 12 months. The 6MTWT improved by 45% (P<0.001), STS60 by 30% (P<0.001), TUAG by 37% (P<0.001) and DASI by 50% (P<0.001) after 12 months. To date, two of the patients have received live-related renal transplants and an additional seven patients have now been successfully enrolled onto the transplant waiting list.
Conclusion: Preliminary experience from this multidisciplinary programme combining diet, exercise and orlistat suggests that significant weight loss and improved physical functioning can be achieved in obese CKD patients, potentially allowing them the opportunity of kidney transplantation and the associated benefits of this compared with long-term dialysis.