A modest amount of exercise may help reduce kidney disease patients’ risks of developing heart disease and infections, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

João Viana, PhD, Nicolette Bishop, PhD (Loughborough University, in the UK), and Alice Smith, PhD (University of Leicester) and their colleagues designed a study to explore the impact of exercise on a range of immune and inflammatory parameters in patients with chronic kidney disease.

In an acute exercise study conducted in 15 patients, 30 minutes of walking improved the responsiveness of immune cells called neutrophils to a bacterial challenge in the post-exercise period. It also induced a systemic anti-inflammatory environment in the body.

In a regular exercise study, six months of regular walking (30 minutes/day, five times/week) reduced immune cell activation and markers of systemic inflammation in 20 patients compared with another 20 patients who did not increase their usual activity levels over the same period of time.


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“Thus, exercise exerts anti-inflammatory effects in patients with kidney disease and may in this way reduce their high risk for heart disease,” said Dr. Viana. “Our study also found no evidence that this level of exercise might be harmful to the immune system in people with kidney disease.”

Study co-authors include George Kosmadakis, Dipl Med, Emma Watson, PhD, Alan Bevington, DPhil, and John Feehally, DM.

The article, entitled “Evidence for Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Exercise in CKD,” appears online at http://jasn.asnjournals.org.