Scientists from Emory University found regular aerobic exercise training over 12 weeks improves blood vessel function in people with stage 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease.
They also found that exercise reduced blood pressure reactivity in this population.
In the study, the researchers examined 38 men and 10 women with chronic kidney disease who were split among a structured and a supervised exercise group.
The aerobic group rode stationary bikes and the non-aerobic group participated in stretching and balance exercises three days a week.
The exercise duration began at 20 minutes per session and progressed by one to two minutes before reaching a maximum of 45 minutes.
People with chronic kidney disease often experience an exaggerated increase in blood pressure during exercise. That increase is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The research team hypothesized that regular aerobic exercise training would improve vascular function and reduce blood pressure reactivity during exercise in chronic kidney disease patients with moderate to severe renal disease, which was confirmed by the study findings.
These findings provide support for the notion that exercise is safe and beneficial in this population.
In addition, regular aerobic exercise training may translate to a reduction in future cardiovascular risk in chronic kidney disease, although more work is required to confirm.
This is important because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in chronic kidney disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 million people in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease.
Nine out of 10 U.S. adults with chronic kidney disease don’t know they have it, and chronic kidney disease is more common in U.S. adults 65 and older.
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The research was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology and conducted by Justin Sprick et al.
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