Aim: To estimate heritability and environmental effects on renal parenchymal thickness. Methods: In this twin study, renal parenchymal thickness of 98 Hungarian healthy adult twin pairs (68 monozygotic, 30 dizygotic) without kidney disease was measured bilaterally using renal ultrasound with Esaote MyLab 70X ultrasound machine with low-frequency curved transducers (1-8 MHz). Results: In both monozygotic and dizygotic group there were more women (76.5%). Mean right and left renal parenchymal thickness was 1.32 ± 0.33 cm and 1.62 ± 0.31 cm, respectively. Age-and sex-adjusted heritability of renal parenchymal thickness was 0.0% (95% confidence interval, 0.0 to 50.2%), shared and unshared environmental factor was 30.2% (4.1 to 55.9%) and 69.8% (45.8 to 89.5%), respectively. Conclusion: This study shows a negligible role of heritability and an important role of environmental effects in developing renal parenchymal thickness, emphasizing the importance of lifestyle for primary prevention.
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