Postdialysis fatigue is associated with sedentary behavior

Clin Nephrol. 2011 May;75(5):426-33.


Postdialysis fatigue (PDF) is a common and debilitating phenomenon that adversely affects the quality of life of hemodialysis patients. Excessive ultrafiltration and rapid osmolar flux are implicated in the pathogenesis of PDF, but simple adjustments do not always ameliorate this symptom. Increased physical activity has long been associated with reduced fatigue in sedentary fatigued patients. The aim of the study was to examine the extent to which physical activity is associated with PDF. This was a retrospective cross-sectional study of hemodialysis patients (n = 58, age 55 ± 13 years, 38 M, 20 F). Physical activity was measured by self-report using the Human Activity Profile (HAP) (n = 58) and accelerometry (n = 26). Postdialysis fatigue was assessed by a questionnaire rating frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms. 86% (50/58) of patients reported PDF ranging from mild to severe. The PDF index was inversely correlated with the adjusted score of the HAP (p < 0.05). Least squares linear regression was used to assess the association of physical activity with PDF, controlling for Kt/V and dialysis vintage. In the adjusted model (R2 = 0.40), physical activity remained the most significant predictor (p < 0.01) of PDF after adjusting for Kt/V and/or vintage. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether increasing habitual physical activity can mitigate PDF symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Exercise
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sedentary Behavior*