Monday, March 07, 2011

Regular exercise increases life span in kidney transplant patients

Although the focus here is on renal/kidney transplants, regular daily exercise is important for all organ recipients. What I found interesting is that a daily exercise regimen gave a 60 percent chance of living five years more than those who exercised at recommended daily levels.

By Anter Prakash Singh the medGuru

A group of researchers from the Netherlands have found in a recent study that patients who maintained a regular exercise regimen, had 60 percent increased chances of living five years more than those whose activity level was equal to or less than the recommended daily activity level.

The research is published in the online edition of the 'Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.'

Study by Dutch researchers
The study was conducted by Dr. Dorien M. Zelle and colleagues from the University Medical Centre, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Zelle explained that it is widely recognized that exercise has a beneficial impact on the heart of ordinary people, those with a renal transplant may form a group which requires exercise particularly more.

Patients with renal transplant are at a four to six times higher risk of dying due to heart disease as compared to the general population.

The study could not explain the link between exercise and increased longevity because those who exercise regularly also lead a healthier life style.

Some of the earlier studies have also shown that kidney transplant patients tend to gain weight after the operation and the level of physical activity decreases as compared to healthy adults.

The muscle wasting that occurs at the advanced stage of the renal diseases and the immunosuppressive routine might contribute to the problem. It is also coupled with traditional risk factors like obesity and hypertension.

The study researchers examined 540 patients who had underwent renal transplant, and were required to fill the detailed questionnaires about their work and leisure activities during their outpatient visits to a single centre between 2001 and 2003.

Study explores the link
Nearly half the patients were found to be not getting enough exercise in accordance with the European guidelines which recommend at least 30 minutes exercise of moderate intensity for five days in a week.

The researchers found that mortality rate was appreciably lower in the group which was having more physical activity.

The link was slightly affected by other factors like age, gender, smoking, sugar levels, history of cardiovascular disease, and components of metabolic syndrome.

But apart from these factors, others like renal function and muscle mass plus other measures did not affected significantly the risk ratio, said the researchers.

While acknowledging the limitations of the study, the researchers said they have relied on self reported levels of exercise which could be affected by erroneous recall and social attraction bias.

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