Multiple Benefits From Regular Exercise in Renal Disease

Improves physical fitness, several cardiovascular dimensions, and health-related quality of life

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise significantly improves physical fitness, cardiovascular dimensions, some nutritional parameters, and health-related quality of life (QOL) in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney transplant recipients, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Oct. 5 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Susanne Heiwe, Ph.D., and Stefan H. Jacobson, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, reviewed available literature through May 2010 to assess the effects of regular exercise in adults with CKD and kidney transplant recipients. They also investigated the design of exercise programs to affect physical fitness and functioning, level of physical activity, dropout rates, compliance, cardiovascular dimensions, glucose metabolism, nutrition, lipids, systemic inflammation, muscle morphology and morphometrics, adverse events, and mortality. Forty-five randomized controlled trials with 1,863 patients with CKD and kidney transplant recipients undergoing exercise for eight weeks or more were analyzed. Exercise included cardiovascular training, mixed cardiovascular and resistance training, resistance-only training, and yoga. Data from 32 studies were meta-analyzed.

The investigators found that participants who exercised regularly showed significant improvement in physical fitness, including aerobic and walking capacity. Regularly exercising patients also showed significant improvement in cardiovascular dimensions (resting diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and heart rate), some nutritional parameters (albumin, pre-albumin, and energy intake), and health-related QOL. Results also revealed how the exercise program should be designed for optimum effect. Evidence for other outcomes was insufficient.

"There is evidence for significant beneficial effects of regular exercise on physical fitness, walking capacity, cardiovascular dimensions, health-related quality of life, and some nutritional parameters in adults with CKD," the authors write.

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