TV Watching, but Not Physical Activity, Is Associated With Change in Kidney Function in Older Adults

J Phys Act Health. 2015 Apr;12(4):561-8. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0289. Epub 2014 Apr 17.


Background: Physical activity (PA) may play a role in preserving kidney health. The purpose of this study was to determine if PA and sedentary behavior are associated with incident chronic kidney disease (CKD) and change in kidney function in older adults.

Methods: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition study is a prospective cohort of 3075 well-functioning older adults. PA and television watching was measured by self-report, and serum cystatin C was used to estimate glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). CKD was defined as an eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Rapid kidney function decline was defined as an annual loss in eGFR of >3 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Discrete survival analysis was used to determine if baseline PA and television watching were related to 10-year cumulative incidence of CKD and rapid decline in kidney function.

Results: Individuals who reported watching television >3 hours/day had a higher risk of incident CKD (HR 1.34; 95% CI, 1.09-1.65) and experiencing a rapid decline in kidney function (HR 1.26; 95% CI, 1.05-1.52) compared with individuals who watched television <2 hours/day. PA was not related to either outcome.

Conclusions: High levels of television watching are associated with declining kidney function; the mechanisms that underlie this association need further study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cystatin C / blood
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recreation
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Television*


  • Cystatin C