THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The types of food that many Southerners seem to prefer -- fried foods, sweet drinks and processed meals -- may be deadly for people with kidney disease, a new study suggests.
A "Southern-style" diet was associated with a 50 percent greater risk of death over a 6-year period for people with kidney disease, researchers found.
The researchers believe the death risk increases because kidney patients have an impaired ability to filter out the harmful fats, sugars and minerals contained in a typical Southern diet.
"People who have kidney disease have a harder time getting rid of a lot of the substances in these types of food that are bad for you," said study lead author Dr. Orlando Gutierrez, a kidney expert at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
By the same token, a diet high in fruits and vegetables appears to reduce the risk of death by nearly a quarter in kidney patients, according to the study published online this month in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
It should be noted, however, that the study was only able to show an association between diet and the risk of death in people with kidney disease. It wasn't designed to prove that dietary factors directly caused a higher or lower risk of death.
This is the first study to identify a regionally specific diet pattern that seems to be damaging to people suffering kidney disease, Gutierrez said.
"It's well known that the Southern region has poor health outcomes in a number of different areas including stroke, heart disease and sepsis, and that the style of diet plays a role," he said.
Gutierrez and his team approached their research with the aim of looking at dietary patterns, rather than specific foods
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