Kidney transplant recipients should exercise to live longer

Last Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Kidney transplant patients with low physical activity are more likely to die early, suggests a new study.

The results suggested that patients needed to exercise to fend off an early death.

Dorien Zelle (University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands) and her colleagues studied the health of 540 kidney transplant recipients between 2001 and 2003, assessing physical activity through questionnaires and recording deaths until August 2007.

With regard to the guidelines for minimum requirements of physical activity, 260 (48percent) patients did not meet the criteria and 79 (14.6 percent) were completely inactive.

During the study period, 81 patients died, with 37 heart-related deaths; the lower the level of physical activity, the higher the rate of deaths.

The investigators acknowledged that in general, sicker people are less likely to exercise and more likely to die; however, they found that the link between low physical activity and premature death was not substantially affected by adjustments for factors such as patients’ heart health, kidney function, muscle mass, and their diabetes and smoking status.

The findings have been published in the upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN).