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Abstract: FR-PO811

Weight Perception in African-American Hemodialysis Patients

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 601 Standard Hemodialysis for ESRD


  • Gupta, Varun, Creighton University, Northbrook, Illinois, United States
  • Saunders, Milda Renne, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • McGill, Rita L., University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Josephson, Michelle A., University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

The epidemic of obesity in the United States has been linked to greater risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. However, in dialysis patients, increased body mass index (BMI) is paradoxically associated with better survival, as is African American race. We sought to determine the perception of ideal BMI in African American hemodialysis patients.


We surveyed African American hemodialysis patients at three dialysis facilities on the South Side of Chicago in June-July 2016. Patients were asked about ideal weight, exercise, eligibility for kidney transplant, and lifestyle. BMI was calculated from measured values. Results were tabulated into a descriptive analysis.


Among 127 patients, 52% were female, and 82% had completed 12 or more years of school. Mean age was 57±16 years. Mean BMI was 28.8±7.3, 32 patients (25%) were overweight, and 50 patients (39%) were obese; proportions did not differ by sex. BMI>38 (our center maximum for transplant eligibility) was seen in 14 (11%). Among patients with normal BMI, 43% perceived a need to gain weight; among overweight patients, 79% wanted to maintain or gain weight (Table). The majority (70%) of obese patients wanted to lose weight.


African American hemodialysis patients perceive BMI of 25-30, which is classified as overweight, to be desirable. Further work is needed to determine whether this weight preference is in part responsible for African Americans’ improved hemodialysis survival.

Perceived Need to Lose or Gain Weight, by BMI
BMI Category, n (%)Should LoseShould MaintainShould GainTotal
Underweight (BMI<18.5)003 (100)3
Normal/Ideal (BMI=18.5-24.9)1 (2)23 (55)18 (43)42
Overweight (BMI 25-29.9)7 (22)20 (63)5 (16)32
Obese (BMI>30)35 (70)14 (28)1 (2)50


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