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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Johns Hopkins: Following a Plant-Based Diet May Lower Kidney Diseases Risk

A new study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has uncovered a link between plant-based diets and kidney health. The finding, which was published April 25 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, indicates that consuming a diet based on nutrient-rich plants may help protect against the development of chronic kidney disease.

To evaluate the associations between plant-based diets and the development of chronic kidney diseases in a general population, a team led by Dr. Casey M. Rebholz, assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology, analyzed information on 14,686 middle-aged adults enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.

The study found that participants with the highest adherence to a healthy plant-based diet had a 14 percent lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease than participants with the lowest adherence to a healthy plant-based diet. The study also found that participants with the highest adherence to a less healthy plant-based diet had an 11 percent higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease than participants with the lowest adherence to a less healthy plant-based diet.

During a median follow-up of 24 years, the study found that 4,343 new cases of chronic kidney disease occurred, and the association between plant-based diets and chronic kidney disease risk was especially pronounced for participants who had a normal weight at the start of the study. In addition, the study found that higher adherence to an overall plant-based diet and a healthy plant-based diet was associated with slower kidney function decline.

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