Exercise and limitations in physical activity levels among new dialysis patients in the United States: an epidemiologic study

Ann Epidemiol. 2008 Dec;18(12):880-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2008.09.008.


Purpose: Epidemiologic studies of physical activity among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are lacking. The aim of this study was to describe the patterns of physical activity among new dialysis patients in the United States.

Methods: Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined associations of self-reported limitations in physical activity and exercise frequency with sociodemographic and clinical variables in 2,264 patients from Wave 2 of the Dialysis Morbidity and Mortality Study.

Results: Overall, 56% of patients exercised less than once a week, 75% reported severe limitations in vigorous activities, whereas 42% had severe limitations in moderate physical activities. Fewer limitations in moderate or vigorous activities correlated positively with male gender (odds-ratio [OR] = 1.61), black race OR =1.49), Hispanic ethnicity (OR = 2.39), serum albumin (OR = 1.69 per 1 g/L higher), positive affect (OR = 2.33), peritoneal dialysis (OR = 1.90), and negatively with age (OR = 0.67), heart failure (OR = 0.75), peripheral vascular disease (OR = 0.69), malnutrition (OR = 0.67), and depression (OR = 0.39). Patients reporting fewer limitations in moderate or vigorous activities (OR = 1.35 and 1.28, respectively), or frequent visits with a dietitian (2 to 3 times per week vs. less) (OR = 1.21) in the pre-ESRD period exercised more frequently.

Conclusions: Limitations in physical activity are common among new ESRD patients and these, in part, are related to pre-existing cardiovascular disease, malnutrition, and mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Depression / complications
  • Ethnicity
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Racial Groups
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Serum Albumin
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Serum Albumin