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Kidney Care Center

Physical Activity Reduces Heart-Related Deaths in Hemodialysis Patients

October 13, 2021

Regular physical activity is not only associated with longer life expectancy in patients on hemodialysis but also reduces heart-related deaths. These results came from a new study done on 6147 European and Argentinian patients receiving hemodialysis. Physical activity was defined as participating in lifestyle activities such as work, household chores, travel, or leisure. Heart-related deaths included sudden death, heart attack, atherosclerotic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, valvular heart disease, pulmonary edema, and congestive heart failure.

Occasional physical activity was associated with a 20% lower risk for overall deaths and an 18% lower risk for heart-related deaths. Frequent physical activity was associated with an 18% lower risk for overall deaths and a 23% lower risk for heart-related deaths. As physical activity increased, the risk for heart-related deaths significantly decreased. Investigators adjusted results for patients’ diets. These results suggest that even low levels of physical activities that are likely to be safe yield a significant improvement in lowering the risk for death in these patients,” Dr. Bernier-Jean’s team concluded. This study also encourages future randomized controlled trials of low-intensity physical activity for sedentary adults receiving hemodialysis.

Source: Bernier-Jean A, Wong G, Saglimbene V, et al. Self-reported physical activity and survival in adults treated with hemodialysis: a DIET-HD cohort study. Kidney Int Rep. doi:10.1016/j.ekir.2021.09.002

Dr. Umair Haider