Exercise essential for patients with kidney disease

New findings show that exercise is essential for patients with kidney disease, before they develop end stage renal disease. Kidney disease is associated with early death. Regular exercise can prolong life for patients with kidney dysfunction.

Srinivasan Beddhu, MD (Salt Lake City VA Healthcare System and University of Utah), and colleagues researched the benefits of exercise for prolonging patients’ lives who suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD) by assessing outcomes from a national survey.

Included were 15,368 adults- 5.9% of whom had CKD – in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, a survey of the US population. Participants answered questions about activity levels and then were followed for seven to nine years to find that patients with kidney disease who exercised the most lived longer.

Exercise among patients with kidney disease was so beneficial that even those who were classified as “insufficiently active” had a forty two percent less chance of dying early compared to those who were inactive. Kidney patients who engaged in regular exercise activity were fifty six percent less likely to die during the study.

Diabetes and hypertension –two major contributors to kidney disease – have reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Lack of exercise is associated with a majority of chronic illnesses.

According to a 2005 study, published in Kidney International,”The epidemiology of chronic kidney disease The world’s disease profile is changing, and chronic diseases now account for the majority of global morbidity and mortality, rather than infectious diseases. The causes of chronic kidney diseases reflect this change and diabetes, together with hypertension, is now the major cause of end-stage renal failure worldwide, not only within the developed world, but also increasingly within the emerging world.”

In addition, the incidence of diabetes has been predicted to double by year 2030, especially in developing countries. Remaining physically reduces the risks of dying prematurely from all causes. Exercise is now found to be essential for patients with kidney disease, and should be started early. Remaining active can also facilitateweight loss, in turn improving kidney function, according to a review September 2009 from Cleveland Clinic.

The authors say “These data suggest that increased physical activity might have a survival benefit in the CKD population. This is particularly important as mostpatients with stage III CKD die before they develop end stage renal disease. The findings show that exercise is essential for everyone, and can extend the lives ofpatients suffering from kidney disease and kidney dysfunction.

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