Background: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have impaired performance in physical tasks, lower health-related quality of life and high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Moderate intensity exercise has been shown to provide cardiovascular and metabolic benefits in healthy individuals and patients without CKD. Long-term exercise training is recommended as a vital component in the management of a number of chronic diseases. This randomized controlled pilot project examined the effects of exercise in predialysis CKD patients.
Methods: Ten patients were randomized to 12 months of exercise (EX) and 10 to standard care (CT). We compared the difference between the two groups in physical impairment (VO(2peak) and endurance time [ET]), arterial stiffness (augmentation index [AI]) and health-related quality of life (EuroQol EQ-5D and Short Form-36 questionnaires) (all measured at baseline and 12 months).
Results: The difference between EX and CT was statistically significant for VO(2peak) (3.59 ml O(2)/kg/min; 95% CI 0.92, 6.26; P = 0.01), ET (10.97 min; 95% CI 4.34, 17.59; P = 0.003) and AI (-11.7%; 95% CI -18.79, -4.61; P = 0.003). Clinically important changes were noted in EQ-5D and SF-36.
Conclusions: This study suggests that long-term exercise training improves physical impairment, arterial stiffness and health-related quality of life in patients with predialysis CKD. A larger randomized trial is required to examine the impact of exercise on markers of cardiovascular risk and quality of life in predialysis CKD patients.