MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Francesca Mallamaci
Professor of Nephrology
Head of the Hypertension Unit at the Department of Nephro-Urology, CNR-IBIM Research on Clinical Epidemiology and Pathophysiology of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, Reggio Calabria, Italy
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Mallamaci: It is well known that physical activity is beneficial both in normal individuals and in patients with heart failure which represent a high risk category of patients. We have scanty information about physical activity in dialysis patients. So the aim of our study was to test the effectiveness of a low-intensity, easy to implement, home exercise program on physical performance in about 300 dialysis patients in a multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial (EXCITE, ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01255969). What we found in our study was that dialysis patients who performed exercise improved their physical performance and this was documented by 2 well known and validated performance tests such as the Six Minute Walking Test and the Sit-to-stand-to sit test. We found also that after 2 year follow-up dialysis patients who were in the active exercise arm had a lower rate of hospitalization and a trend to a better survival, compared to dialysis patients in the control arm of the study.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Mallamaci: We have to be cautious and wait for further analyses of our study, but as nephrologists we should at least encourage our patients to perform some light kind of physical activity keeping well in mind that being sedentarian is considered a Cardio-Vascular risk factor. We are pretty confident that this exercise program is easy and suitable to the needs of a high-risk population such as the dialysis patients.
Chronic kidney disease: Exercise provides clear benefits