No connection between whistle-blower RTS and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories

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No connection between whistle-blower RTS and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories

RTS, the whistle-blower which exposed alleged data manipulation in the forensics industry, would like to highlight to our customers and clients that there is no connection between it and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories.

Trimega went into administration in April 2014. The administrators were KPMG.

RTS purchased some laboratory equipment from KPMG and moved onto the vacant laboratory premises in Manchester. RTS did not take-over Trimega’s business or order book. In contrast to Trimega which was wholly engaged in testing for family law, RTS was significantly engaged in criminal law, only taking on a minimal number of family law cases.
A small number of former Trimega staff were employed by RTS. Two of these former Trimega workers were dismissed by RTS after the alleged data manipulation was uncovered and reported.
Since acting as whistle-blower, RTS has fully supported the police investigation. At the NPCC media briefing on November 21st 2017, the NPCC publicly acknowledged this support and said RTS was “reputable, professional and responsible.”

The authorities have concluded the prioritising of all RTS cases for re-testing, including forensic and family law, and the process is underway. RTS is managing this at appropriately accredited external laboratories and is covering the necessary costs. To date all priority one and two re-testing not resulted in any criminal case being overturned. All affected parties have been kept informed of the process.

On November 21st 2017, the UK Government revealed that an official investigation into alleged data manipulation at Trimega between 2010 – 2014 was underway.
RTS cannot comment on the scale or timetable for re-testing of family law results provided by Trimega. The government has requested that the public self-report if Trimega was involved in their case as poor record-keeping by the laboratory means the number of Trimega customers and identities may never be known.

RTS has no responsibility for any alleged data manipulation which occurred at Trimega.


Randox Testing Services (RTS) are the whistleblower and initiated the police forensic investigation. RTS support to police ongoing.

  • RTS is the whistle-blower in this issue of forensic manipulation.
  • In January 2017, RTS investigated an anomaly in a forensic report, identified manipulation of quality control data and immediately reported this to the police, accreditation agency and the forensic science regulator.
  • This activity had not been identified in numerous external audits by the accreditation agency, other forensic science providers, or by defence experts in numerous cases.
  • RTS are working with Greater Manchester Police, the Forensic Service Regulator and the Home Office to resolve the situation. The investigation now dates beyond RTS to laboratories which are unconnected to it. However, it was RTS action that identified this activity.
  • RTS remain actively engaged with all the appropriate agencies to resolve the outstanding issues and are committed to supporting the criminal justice system.
  • RTS is currently managing the process of retesting samples at appropriately accredited laboratories, as well as covering the associated costs.
  • Two former employees remain on police bail. All appropriate pre-employment checks were conducted.
  • RTS are new to the forensic science industry. The majority of staff were employed with experience from elsewhere in the forensic science industry, from both the public and private sectors.
  • In light of these circumstance RTS volunteered and agreed to the suspension of the related forensic accreditation in RTS laboratories only. All other Randox laboratories are unaffected.

We Are Randox | Randox employees put the ‘fun’ in fundraising!

Randox employees put the ‘fun’ in fundraising last Friday with a water balloon fundraiser in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support!

Randox employee, Gary Laverty, initiated this fantastic fundraising event and allowed colleagues to throw water balloons at him in efforts to raise money for this worthy charity. Raising an impressive £409.38 for the charity, Gary spoke of great admiration for Macmillan;

“When my father was ill last year, Macmillan offered tremendous support to both him and my family. Their commitment to helping cancer patients is incredible, really life-changing. I debated a few fundraising ideas but thought that the water balloon idea was something unusual so I hoped people would see it as a really fun event. The fundraiser went really well and I am delighted at the amount we raised for such an amazing charity! My colleagues got really involved and it was a really fun event, thankfully it wasn’t too cold on the day!”

The Macmillan Cancer Support charity aim to improve the lives of everyone living with cancer. They are committed to ensuring no one faces cancer alone by offering support and assistance right from the beginning of a diagnosis, through treatment and beyond, including support to the wider family circle.

We were delighted to welcome Margaret Young from Macmillan to Randox HQ in Crumlin yesterday to present a cheque from Gary’s tremendous fundraising efforts;

“We were absolutely delighted to hear of the water balloon fundraiser and hope that Gary and all the staff at Randox enjoyed themselves. Thank you to all those who took part and donated, especially to Gary!”

Well done Gary!


Randox ramping up business in the US at AACC

Following its recent £1 billion sales announcement, Randox Laboratories is maintaining its focus on international markets, as a group of 30 representatives from the diagnostics company, which has headquarters in County Antrim, have travelled to the US this week, to take part in the world’s largest diagnostics conference – in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, known as the leading event for laboratory medicine worldwide, is attended by over 20,000 delegates from across the globe, and offers Randox the opportunity to showcase their capabilities and to network with leading healthcare professionals and key decision makers.

 Managing Director of Randox, Dr. Peter FitzGerald, explained the company’s focus on business with the US;

“The USA is one of our most important markets and we have been exporting our diagnostic products there since the early 1980s. For example, we have Randox Clinical Chemistry Analysers in key Ivy League Institutions, such as Yale University School of Medicine, and Harvard University.  It is vital to nurture and develop these key relationships, as well as endeavor to establish new ones.”

Randox’s expertise in diagnostics means that the company has been able to diversify beyond healthcare, into the veterinary, research, forensic, and food safety sectors in the US. For example, a number of countries have implemented strict regulations on their meat imports in recent years, meaning that US exports have had to source new ways of demonstrating the quality of their products. Randox Food Diagnostics technology have enabled US exporters to demonstrate residue-free products, by screening for the growth promoter Ractopamine.

Randox’s Toxicology division is also at the forefront of one of the world’s key health challenges; ‘legal highs.’  Key state level agencies for forensic investigations, such as The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, are able to stay on top of this growing public health threat by custom ordering Randox biochips to test the most relevant drugs of abuse within their state.

Dr. FitzGerald continued;

“Following the Brexit decision there will of course be particular business challenges, but at Randox we will maintain our commitment to research and development, and seek new opportunities in international markets such as the US. A growing demand for Randox innovations in the US has supported a $10m investment in our new facility Kearneysville, in West Virginia, which will be officially opened later this year, and will enable us to strengthen our position in that market.”

 

AACC runs from the 31st July – 4th August at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Randox can be found at booth #2927.

Members from the team of Randox representatives attending this year’s AACC conference in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Randox Celebrates Success at Global Sales Conference in Templepatrick

Randox employees gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick from 4th to 8th of July for their Global Sales Conference. The conference was aimed at celebrating the hard work and dedication of Randox employees in addition to providing a chance for team building and enhanced product training. The week was a great success with critical sales information being discussed on existing products but also on exciting new products set to launch later this year. Through these product focused workshops and interactive sessions (including case studies and market success stories) the company is sure to benefit from the experience!

Inclusive of 130 Randox sales representatives from across 23 different countries, the sales conference was a multi-cultural experience with employees from the UK and Ireland, USA, Australia, China, France, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, the UAE, India, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Vietnam. To mark the diversity of the Randox team a series of presentations were given in the native language of Randox’s international employees; this really highlighted the global presence of Randox and enhanced the pride of Randox staff. This was further heightened by Dr Peter FitzGerald’s announcement of Randox hitting £1 billion of sales since inception.

Pride wasn’t the only factor adding to the motivation of Randox employees during the week. With the conference consisting of team briefings, training sessions and team building activities, Randox employees were boosted with a sense of support. These sessions focused on increasing their knowledge of current products, in addition to providing insight into new products which are soon to be released.

Speaking about these sessions, Global Marketing Manager, Eamon Lenehan said;

“It was fantastic to see so many of our sales teams, from across the world, in one place. It really highlighted the scale and reach of our business as a global company. The interactive sessions nurtured a sense of teamwork and debate across all product groups. The focus on unique selling points and key sales strategies for existing and exciting new products will enable our sales teams to reach and exceed their goals.”

Following this Global Marketing Manager, Stuart Penrose said;

“The interactive nature of our sessions really sang through; the main one being a “Master Mind” session that had a Magnus and 5 sales reps on the panels, all answering multiple choice questions and generating great debate amongst the team.”

All Randox divisions made an appearance from the Reagents, Quality Control and RX series clinical product divisions to Randox Biosciences, Food Diagnostics, Testing Services and Toxicology teams. To end the eventful week Randox employees were treated to a Gala dinner which was thoroughly enjoyed by all!


What is Visceral Fat?

Visceral fat (or abdominal fat) is body fat which is stored within the abdominal cavity. It wraps around your vital organs including the liver, pancreas and intestines, and as a result can have a negative impact on your health. In fact, visceral fat has been linked to increased risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

It is important to distinguish the difference between subcutaneous fat and visceral fat…

Subcutaneous fat is the fat we store under our skin. It is the tissue that we can feel when we pinch ourselves, and contains blood vessels in addition to fatty tissues. Visceral fat, on the other hand, cannot be felt in such a way as it is the extra fat stored around our organs. It is the most dangerous type of fat as it much harder to identify.

No matter what your shape or size, you may be carrying excess visceral fat!

Regardless of shape or size an individual can be carrying excess visceral fat. This means that whether your doctor tells you that you’re underweight, overweight, obese or of a healthy weight, you may be carrying excess visceral fat within your abdominal cavity.

That is why BMI is an inaccurate measurement of health…

Body Mass Index (BMI) is used by many as an indicator of health. It involves comparing your weight in relation to your height to give an indication of your weight status i.e. whether you are categorised as underweight, overweight, healthy or obese. It doesn’t take into account muscle mass, age, sex, ethnicity, general level of fitness or visceral fat. Therefore, even if you have a ‘healthy’ BMI you may still be carrying excessive visceral fat, and could still be at risk of the health complications associated with it.

As a result, relying on BMI could put you at risk of countless diseases…

Visceral fat is often referred to as ‘active fat’ due to the effect it has on our hormones and body functions. It can interrupt normal hormone communications between your vital organs, and can lead to insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it can affect the functions of your organs and puts you at higher risk of developing heart disease or cancers including breast cancer or colorectal cancer.

So, what can you do to protect yourself?

Factors which contribute to visceral fat levels include stress, diet and exercise habits in addition to age, ethnicity and gender. Living a healthy lifestyle will therefore reduce your chances of visceral fat accumulating in your abdominal cavity.

If you are worried about your visceral fat levels the waist-to-hip ratio (found by dividing waist width by hip width) can give an indication of total fat as well as the level of visceral fat, however the most accurate measurement of visceral fat is to measure adiponectin levels in the blood.

Adiponectin (a blood analyte) is closely linked with visceral fat; low levels of adiponectin indicate high levels of visceral fat. The Adiponectin test enables true measurement of visceral fat levels and allows for more accurate measurement of health than traditional BMI; if you have been diagnosed with unhealthy BMI and believe this to be an inaccurate diagnosis, testing your adiponectin levels can help determine your true measurement of health. Simply ask your doctor for the Adiponectin test!

For health professionals:

The adiponectin test from Randox can accurately assess levels of abdominal visceral fat, independent of age, race or fitness level.  Assessing adiponectin, and therefore visceral fat levels, can help assess risk of CKD, as well as a range of other illnesses such as pre-diabetes, CVD and various cancers.  Contact us now for further information.


Randox diagnosed with success after hitting £1 billion of sales since inception

Randox Laboratories has made an impressive business announcement this week – from inception in 1982 the global healthcare company has now surpassed £1 billion of total sales in medical diagnostic products.

Founded by Dr. Peter FitzGerald just outside Crumlin, Co Antrim, Randox sold its first ever diagnostic blood test to Aberystwyth University Hospital.  Thirty four years later and the company has just made its billionth pound sale – highly innovative Respiratory Infection Biochips which test for multiple respiratory infections to quickly identify the most appropriate treatment – to a client in Saudia Arabia.  This technology, which is unique to Randox, not only improves antibiotic prescribing, but reduces the risk of growing antimicrobial resistance – a major global healthcare threat.

The major sales announcement was made at the company’s Global Sales Conference, being held this week in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.

At this event, around 130 Randox sales representatives from across 23 different countries, including the UK and Ireland, the USA, Australia, China, France, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, the UAE, India, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Vietnam are gathered together in Randox’s native Northern Ireland for this notable milestone in the company’s history.

With briefings, team building and training on both current products and new capabilities about to be launched, the aim of the conference is to equip staff to increase the rate of company growth.  The conference will not only focus on product groups that advance human healthcare, such as Randox Reagents, Quality Control, Biosciences, and the RX Series Clinical Chemistry Analysers, but will also include Randox’s growing Food Diagnostics, Testing Services and Toxicology divisions.

Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, explained the company’s plans following the £1 billion sales announcement;

“Whilst we have clearly made our mark on the global diagnostics sector, there is much more that we want to do, to save and improve lives globally.   As such, once operational and infrastructure costs have been met, Randox reinvests all profits into further research and development and, as a result, we have more new tests in development than any other healthcare company in the world. This commitment to R&D has seen the successful development and expansion of Randox patented Biochip Array Technology – greatly improving the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions.  For example, we are currently working on the early and accurate diagnosis of a range of cancers, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Our Randox Health clinics also allow newly validated tests to make a clinical impact more quickly than would normally be achieved through routine healthcare procurement processes. Whilst there is still much to be done in this area, with our first class people, our commitment to innovation and the world class facilities we are developing at the Randox Science Park in Antrim, in Dungloe in Co Donegal, in Bangalore in India and in West Virginia in the US, we are confident that we will continue to bring our cutting-edge diagnostics to more and more people across the globe.”


Randox celebrates women in engineering

Thurs 23rd June 2016 marks National Women in Engineering Day, an annual campaign that aims to highlight the role of women in engineering, and focus attention on the array of career opportunities available for women in this rewarding industry. The campaign is run by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) whose goal is to ‘encourage women to participate and achieve as engineers, scientists and as leaders’. As a company who aim to inspire, and actively encourage women to enter careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), this resonates with us.

To show our appreciation of this campaign, we interviewed Randox Engineer, Maryrose McLoone from our Randox Teoranta team. Maryrose shared with us her journey into the industry of engineering…

How long have you worked in engineering?

I began working in Randox Teoranta after completing my undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering, and have been working here for the past year. Prior to this, as part of my undergraduate studies, I took a five month work placement as a Quality Intern at a medical device company.

How did you know a career in engineering was for you?

I have always been interested in maths and science, and the general STEM subjects. Engineering had been suggested to me by our Career Guidance Counsellor in secondary school due to my interest in maths. I hadn’t much experience with engineering related subjects prior to starting college but my undergraduate studies began with the basics, so everybody started on the same level.

How did you decide which area of engineering you wanted to pursue?

I chose Mechanical Engineering as it is a versatile form of engineering that would allow me to work in both the mechanical and biomedical engineering industries. My interest in working with medical devices came about during my college work placement. Through my placement I gained a great appreciation of engineering and the benefits it can have in the medical device industry.

Tell us about your role within the Randox Engineering team?

I work as a Mechanical Design Engineer. This involves designing and testing components and modules for clinical chemistry analysers. At the minute I am working alongside other Engineers from mechanical, electrical, and embedded systems, as well as Software Developers in the development of the RX misano test jigs which will be used for troubleshooting and to aid in QC procedures.

What skills have you gained with your career experience?

 My role as a Design Engineer has allowed me to improve my skills in many areas such as design and testing, communication, organisation and time management skills, as well as gaining an understanding of the relevant medical device quality standards. My position involves working with a team of engineers from various engineering backgrounds, as well as working closely with quality and manufacturing to ensure the smooth transition from prototype to production.

 What do you enjoy most about your job?

As a Design Engineer you are constantly coming up with new and creative solutions to problems. You can see your designs evolve from prototypes to completed projects. I find working in medical devices in particular to be a very fulfilling and highly rewarding job.  You can be assured that your hard work is for a good purpose as it results in the creation of analysers which are used to conduct a wide variety of tests and perform important diagnoses. The design of clinical chemistry analysers involves careful consideration and attention to detail, an aspect which I enjoy.

My skills in the structure and organisation of tasks have developed from working in a highly regulated environment; such traits are extremely important when designing medical devices to ensure the production of quality products. As a Design Engineer working for Randox it is rewarding to be part of team that work together to improve healthcare through the development of clinical diagnostic solutions.

Do you work alongside any other women in the engineering department?

Yes, our R&D team comprises of Engineers in the areas of Mechanical, Electrical, and Embedded systems Engineering as well as Software Developers and Scientists. In our team there are women working in Embedded Systems, Software, and Science. Each team member has an important role in the design, development, and testing of our analysers. Embedded Systems Engineers and Software Developers work on developing and testing the software for our analysers. We also have a Scientist in our team who ensures our analysers can accurately run chemistry and helps in the verification and validation processes.

Proud to work as part of such a united team, Maryrose gives great insight into the role of a Design Engineer, and really highlights the depth of roles within the engineering industry; from System Engineers to Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. It is clear that women play a pivotal role in the Randox Engineering team, working together to design, develop and test our clinical diagnostic solutions.

Maryrose discussed her work as a Design Engineer within the RX series Engineering team. Her work on the RX misano has been crucial in the development of this new semi-automated analyser, details for which can be found below:

The RX misano is the newest analyser in the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers, and will be available for purchase soon.  It is a semi-automated analyser designed with usability in mind; the screen has been positioned at an optimal viewing angle for the user, a touch button has been incorporated into the design to allow for the easy aspiration of sample, and, a 7” touch screen has also made the RX misano more user friendly than previous designs. The analyser software, developed by Randox, provides easy-to-use test screens and highlights any analytical problems to the user.

For more information, and to register your interest in the RX misano, please visit: therxseries.com/rx-altona

The RX misano is currently unavailable to purchase in Germany

Maryrose McLoone, Design Engineer, Randox Teoranta

MYTH: Only overweight people get type 2 diabetes, right?

The answer to this common myth is no. Let us tell you why…

As a condition that usually manifests later in life, type 2 diabetes is viewed by many as a self-inflicted disease caused by eating too much sugar and being overweight. Although obesity is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes it isn’t the only cause. In fact, many people of a healthy weight have type 2 diabetes, and similarly many overweight people do not. This is because an individual’s metabolic health can be affected by factors other than their weight.

Firstly, let’s define metabolic health; metabolic health refers to the body’s health at a cellular function, and one aspect of this is the body’s ability to utilise nutrients for energy. Within this insulin has an important function; insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and used by the body to regulate how glucose is used and stored. In some individuals, however, this is not the case; their pancreas may either not produce enough insulin, or may not be able to effectively use the insulin it produces, known as insulin sensitivity.  High blood sugar level and type 2 diabetes is the effect of this.

Whilst obesity and lack of exercise are 2 of the most common reasons affecting metabolic state and causing type 2 diabetes, it is important to note that approximately 1 in 3 type 2 diabetics are undiagnosed. Therefore the causal factors of these individuals are not included in the statistics and therefore not accounted for in this statement. Other causal factors include family history, ethnicity, age, stress, inflammation, poor diet and visceral fat.

Let’s talk about a few of these factors…

Family history & ethnicity – Do genetics play a role?

Risk factors of type 2 diabetes includes family history and ethnicity; research(1) has found that there is a 1 in 7 risk of type 2 diabetes for children whose parents were diagnosed before the age of 50, and 1 in 2 risk for children if both parents have type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, research(2) has linked genetic mutation of the HMGA1 gene to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in white Europeans; the study found that defects in the HMGA1 gene led to a drop in the body’s ability to make insulin receptors, thus leading to insulin resistance. In fact, 1 in 10 study participants with type 2 diabetes had a genetic mutation of the gene. Furthermore certain ethnic groups have been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes i.e. African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans; some believe this may be due to genetics.

Chronic Stress

When the body is under stress, stress hormones such as cortisol are released. These hormones can affect the body’s blood glucose levels; for example, one of the primary functions of cortisol is to provide an immediate source of energy for the body, resulting in an increase of glucose supply to the blood. Individuals suffering chronic stress therefore have a constant production of cortisol, and chronically increased blood glucose levels as a result. This increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Chronic stress can lead to inflammation, which is another risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation

As the body’s natural response to injury, inflammation is the initial step in the healing process. Opening the blood vessels to allow free movement of the body’s natural healing substances to the affected site, it offers the body protection and fights off foreign substances such as germs and toxins. Inflammation is necessary to rid infections and heal wounds, however if the body suffers a chronic state of inflammation it can have damaging effects; chronic inflammation is caused by autoimmune conditions, allergies, chronic stress and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, and is linked to major diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and certain cancers. The link with type 2 diabetes is a result of inflammation causing insulin resistance, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Abdominal visceral fat

Abdominal visceral fat is the fat which surrounds the internal organs in the abdominal cavity. High levels of abdominal visceral fat are associated with insulin resistance and therefore, high risk of diabetes. Abdominal visceral fat can be found in individuals of all shapes and sizes, and regardless of ‘healthy’ BMI high visceral fat levels can still occur. This is because BMI doesn’t take into account muscle mass or other factors including gender and ethnicity. This presents an issue as those with a ‘healthy’ BMI may unknowingly still be at risk of diabetes. Similarly those with high muscle mass, who are determined ‘overweight’ based on BMI, may worry that they are at risk of diabetes, when in fact their weight isn’t putting them at risk. Determining levels of abdominal visceral fat is a much better indication of health than BMI.

Overall risk of type 2 diabetes is correlated with genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. Whilst some impact more than others, it is important to recognise that there are numerous factors related to type 2 diabetes, and rid the myth that obesity and a high sugar diet high are the only causal factors.

Help set the record straight by sharing this article:

References:

(1) American Diabetes Association (2014) Genetics of Diabetes. Found online at diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/genetics-of-diabetes.html

(2) Brunetti et al (2011) Functional Variants of the HMGA1 Gene and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); 305 (9):903-912.

If you are worried about your blood glucose levels, or risk of diabetes, ask your doctor for these tests:

  • Glucose, HbA1c and Fructosamine to assess your blood glucose levels
  • CRP to determine chronic inflammation with additional testing of SPLA2-IIA levels to determine vascular inflammation
  • Adiponectin to assess your level of abdominal visceral fat. High levels of abdominal visceral fat can indicate metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes.

For more information on diabetes testing visit our dedicated diabetes reagents page.

For health professionals:

Adiponectin is a protein which regulates the metabolism of lipids and glucose and influences the body’s response to insulin. Low levels of Adiponectin are correlated with increased CRP (increased inflammation), higher levels of triglycerides and insulin resistance. As a result of increased insulin resistance and inflammation, low levels of Adiponectin can indicate metabolic syndrome.

For more information please visit our dedicated Adiponectin page or view our full range of diabetes tests.

SPLA2-IIA is a highly specific marker of atherosclerotic plaque inflammation, and has a direct role in the formation of rupture-prone atherosclerotic plaque. Increased concentrations of SPLA2-IIA have been linked with increased risk of cardiocerebrovascular events. As a highly specific marker of vascular inflammation, it complements tests such as hsCRP, and can be used to improve the risk assessment of patients with moderate to high risk of CVD, in particular those with metabolic syndrome such as insulin resistance.

Further reading: Sertić et al (2010) Does Lp-PLA2 determination help predict atherosclerosis and cardiocerebrovascular disease? Acta Med Croatica. 64(4):237-45

Randox SPLA2-IIA will be available soon. To register your interest please view our dedicated SPLA2-IIA page.


What is the relationship between kidney function and abdominal fat?

It is widely understood that hypertension and diabetes are two of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively. But what about abdominal fat?

Abdominal fat contributes to risk of diabetes and hypertension, and with these being the most common causes of CKD, it’s natural to associate abdominal fat with CKD, isn’t it? A new study has recently been published which examines this.

The study(1) aimed to examine the relationship between kidney function and abdominal fat; the researchers wanted to discover if abdominal obesity is associated with early markers of CKD in a young healthy population, and whether these associations differ by race and/or ethnicity.

As symptoms of CKD are not usually present until the condition reaches an advanced stage, blood and urine tests are relied on to detect the condition at earlier stages, and enable treatment to begin as early as possible. The identification of more indicators to enable this condition to be detected as early as possible is of interest, particularly due to 10% of the world’s population being affected by CKD(2).

The study involved the analysis of data gained from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the US between 1999 and 2010. This included health, lifestyle and nutritional information from 6918 young adults aged 20-40 years; factors included height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and blood/urine samples for analysis of components including albumin, CRP, glucose, insulin, creatinine etc.

The researchers of the study defined abdominal obesity by gender criteria of waist circumference, and markers of CKD included estimated glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria ≥30 mg/g. Risk of CKD was analysed within strata of race and in subgroups of those with normal blood pressures, normal blood sugar levels and normal insulin sensitivity. Awareness of CKD was assessed in participants with albuminuria.

The study concluded that abdominal obesity in young adults, especially in Mexican-Americans, is independently associated with early markers of kidney dysfunction even in those with normal blood pressures, glucose levels and insulin sensitivity.

References:

  1. Sarathy H et al. (2016) Abdominal Obesity, Race and Chronic Kidney Disease in Young Adults: Results from NHANES 1999-2010. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0153588. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153588
  2. World Kidney Day (2016) Chronic Kidney Disease. Online at: http://www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/chronic-kidney-disease/

Please note:

With the prevalence of obesity, greater awareness of CKD is needed to protect the youth from premature kidney dysfunction. Those at high risk of CKD should be screened every year. This includes patients with high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, or a family history of CKD. If symptoms are experienced visit your GP – symptoms of advanced CKD include tiredness; swollen ankles, feet or hands (due to water retention); shortness of breath; nausea; and blood in the urine.

For health professionals: The adiponectin test from Randox can accurately assess levels of abdominal visceral fat, independent of age, race or fitness level.  Assessing adiponectin, and therefore visceral fat levels, can help assess risk of CKD, as well as a range of other illnesses such as pre-diabetes, CVD and various cancers.  Contact us now for further information.


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