Originally published June 3 2014
Want to reduce the effects of kidney disease? Walk more
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Sometimes, simple solutions are the best ones for curing what ails us.
That's what new research has found for sufferers of kidney disease. It seems that, just by walking more, kidney disease sufferers can alleviate many of its effects.
According to a new study that has been published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, or CJASN, walking may help prolong life while reducing the risk of needing dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Patients who are suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) routinely do not engage in enough physical activity, the researchers said. Che-Yi Chou, MD, PhD, Chiz-Tzung Chang, PhD (China Medical University Hospital, in Taiwan), and their colleagues hypothesized that an activity as simple as walking could help improve conditions among CKD sufferers, if not outcomes.
'Walking for exercise is associated with improved patient survival and a lower risk of dialysis'
The research team examined 6,363 patients with CKD in stages 3 to 5 in the CKD program of China Medical University Hospital from June 2003 to May 2013. The team said that patients were an average of 70 years old, and each was followed for an average of 1.3 years.
As noted by Medical Xpress:
Just over 21% of patients reported walking as their most common form of exercise. During follow-up, those who walked were 33% less likely to die and 21% less likely to need dialysis or a kidney transplant. The more patients walked, the more they benefited. Compared with those who did not walk, patients who walked 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and [at least] 7 times per week were 17%, 28%, 58%, and 59% less likely to die during the study, respectively. They were also 19%, 27%, 43%, and 44% less likely to need dialysis or a transplant.
Researchers also found that the presence of other, or comorbid, conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes produced similar results between walking and non-walking patients.
"We have shown that CKD patients with comorbidities were able to walk if they wanted to, and that walking for exercise is associated with improved patient survival and a lower risk of dialysis," said Dr. Chou. "A minimal amount of walking--just once a week for less than 30 minutes--appears to be beneficial, but more frequent and longer walking may provide a more beneficial effect."
Overall quality of life is important as well
About 60 million people worldwide suffer from CKD; in the U.S., that figure is about 10 percent of the population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.
"Your chances of having CKD increase with age; it increases after age 50 years and is most common among adults older than 70 years," the government health agency says.
But, researchers say, quality of life also affects the incidence of CKD. In a study by Anna Porter, MD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her colleagues, of 1,091 African Americans with hypersensitive CDK who were enrolled in the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension Trial and Cohort Studies, health-related quality of life, including physical and mental health, were examined through surveys.
During a decade of follow-up, lower physical and mental health scores were tied with increased risks of experiencing cardiovascular events or dying from heart-related causes, as well as with higher incidences of the progression of CKD or dying from kidney-related causes.
"Quality of life is extremely important to patients and is impacted by kidney disease," said Porter. "In order to better serve our patients, physicians need to gain a better understanding of the negative impact that kidney disease has on quality of life, and to recognize the association between quality of life and other outcomes."
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