Healthy lifestyle and risk of kidney disease progression, atherosclerotic events, and death in CKD: findings from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study

Am J Kidney Dis. 2015 Mar;65(3):412-24. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2014.09.016. Epub 2014 Nov 20.


Background: In general populations, healthy lifestyle is associated with fewer adverse outcomes. We estimated the degree to which adherence to a healthy lifestyle decreases the risk of renal and cardiovascular events among adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Study design: Prospective cohort.

Setting & participants: 3,006 adults enrolled in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study.

Predictors: 4 lifestyle factors (regular physical activity, body mass index [BMI] of 20-<25kg/m(2), nonsmoking, and "healthy diet"), individually and in combination.

Outcomes: CKD progression (50% decrease in estimated glomerular filtration rate or end-stage renal disease), atherosclerotic events (myocardial infarction, stroke, or peripheral arterial disease), and all-cause mortality.

Measurements: Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards.

Results: During a median follow-up of 4 years, we observed 726 CKD progression events, 355 atherosclerotic events, and 437 deaths. BMI≥25kg/m(2) and nonsmoking were associated with reduced risk of CKD progression (HRs of 0.75 [95% CI, 0.58-0.97] and 0.61 [95% CI, 0.45-0.82] for BMIs of 25 to <30 and ≥30kg/m(2), respectively, versus 20 to <25kg/m(2); HR for nonsmoking of 0.68 [95% CI, 0.55-0.84] compared to the current smoker reference group) and reduced risk of atherosclerotic events (HRs of 0.67 [95% CI, 0.46-0.96] for BMI of 25-<30 vs 20-<25kg/m(2) and 0.55 [95% CI, 0.40-0.75] vs current smoker). Factors associated with reduced all-cause mortality were regular physical activity (HR, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.52-0.79] vs inactive), BMI≥30kg/m(2) (HR, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.43-0.96] vs 20-<25kg/m(2)), and nonsmoking (HR, 0.45 [95% CI, 0.34-0.60] vs current smoker). BMI<20kg/m(2) was associated with increased all-cause mortality risk (HR, 2.11 [95% CI, 1.13-3.93] vs 20-<25kg/m(2)). Adherence to all 4 lifestyle factors was associated with a 68% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to adherence to no lifestyle factors (HR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.11-0.89).

Limitations: Lifestyle factors were measured only once.

Conclusions: Regular physical activity, nonsmoking, and BMI≥25kg/m(2) were associated with lower risk of adverse outcomes in this cohort of individuals with CKD.

Keywords: CKD progression; Chronic kidney disease (CKD); body mass index (BMI); cardiovascular events; diet; healthy lifestyle; lifestyle modification; modifiable risk factor; mortality; physical activity; renal disease trajectory; smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Atherosclerosis / mortality*
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / mortality*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Smoking Cessation

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