(HealthDay News) — Many obese young adults in the United States don’t know they’re at increased risk for kidney disease, according to research published online in PLOS ONE.

Michal Melamed, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from 6,918 adults, aged 20 to 40, across the United States.

The researchers found that 11.6% of obese Mexican-Americans, and 5.6 and 6.6% of obese whites and blacks, respectively, had albuminuria. Among young adults with albuminuria, less than 5% had been told they had kidney disease.

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“Clearly, clinicians and public health officials need to do more to identify and treat young people at risk for early progressive kidney disease so they can adopt the behavioral changes to prevent chronic kidney disease from occurring,” Melamed said in an Albert Einstein news release.

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1. Sarathy H, Henriquez G, Abramowitz MK, et al. Abdominal Obesity, Race and Chronic Kidney Disease in Young Adults: Results from NHANES 1999-2010. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153588.