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Physical Activity Tied to Mortality in Kidney Recipients

Increased physical activity associated with decrease in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Low physical activity (PA) in renal transplant recipients (RTRs) is independently associated with increased risk for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, according to a study published online March 3 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Dorien M. Zelle, Ph.D., from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues studied whether low PA was associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in RTRs. Between 2001 and 2003, 540 RTRs with an average age of 51 years completed validated questionnaires to assess their PA levels. Participants were followed up for an average of 5.3 years, with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality being recorded until August 2007.

The investigators found that PA was positively associated with kidney function and 24-hour urinary creatinine excretion, and it had an age-independent inverse association with history of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, fasting insulin, and triglyceride concentration. Of the 81 deaths that occurred during follow-up, 37 were cardiovascular in nature. According to gender-stratified tertiles of PA, higher PA was significantly associated with a decrease in cardiovascular mortality (11.7, 7.2, and 1.7 percent, respectively), and all-cause mortality (24.4, 15.0, and 5.6 percent, respectively). The association remained even after adjusting for history of cardiovascular disease and traditional risk factors.

"Low PA is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in RTRs. Our data suggest that increased PA might have a cardiovascular survival benefit for RTRs," the authors write.

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