Heart healthy lifestyle may help protect kidney patients from dying prematurely

Updated: May 24, 2013, 20:52 PM IST

Washington: A new study has found that maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle may also help protect chronic kidney disease patients from developing kidney failure and early death.

The findings suggest that patients with kidney disease should be encouraged to improve their heart health.

Paul Muntner, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and his colleagues used the American Heart Association`s recently published tool (Life`s Simple 7) that helps individuals assess their heart health.

Life`s Simple 7 lists seven domains including not smoking, being physically active, following a heart healthy diet, having a normal weight, and maintaining low blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

The investigators looked for a link between Life`s Simple 7 components with both kidney failure and death among 3,093 individuals with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease.

During an average follow-up of four years, 160 participants developed kidney failure and 610 participants died.

The major findings are that compared with individuals who had zero or one of the Life`s Simple 7 components in the "ideal" range, those with two, three, and four ideal factors had progressively lower risks for kidney failure. People with four ideal factors cut their risk by nearly half.

No participant with five to seven ideal factors developed kidney failure.

Participants` risk of dying during the study followed similar trends, with those having four ideal factors cutting their risk by more than 40 percent.

The relationship between ideal levels of Life`s Simple 7 components and kidney failure and death was explained by individuals` kidney function levels, suggesting that kidney disease may confound or mediate the link between health behaviors and health.

The study will be published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).