Physical function and physical activity in hemodialysis patients with peripheral artery disease

Hemodial Int. 2022 Jul 6. doi: 10.1111/hdi.13036. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Introduction: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is commonly observed in patients undergoing hemodialysis. PAD impairs the vasculature and leads to pathophysiologic changes in the skeletal muscles, causing physical function impairment and physical inactivity in general. However, it is unclear whether PAD adversely affects physical function and physical activity in patients on hemodialysis.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study with a retrospective review of the data to determine whether PAD is associated with impaired physical function and physical activity in patients undergoing hemodialysis. The study population comprised 310 patients and 88 healthy subjects. PAD was diagnosed based on an ankle-brachial index of <1.00 in patients on hemodialysis. Measurements of physical function included maximum walking speed, muscle strength in the lower extremities, and balance while standing.

Findings: Of the 310 patients, 84 (27.1%) had PAD. When patients undergoing hemodialysis were divided into those without PAD and those with PAD, both groups had poorer physical function and physical activity than the healthy control subjects. After adjustments for potential confounders, it was found that patients on hemodialysis with PAD had slower walking speed, poorer standing balance, and less physical activity than those without PAD. However, there was no significant difference in lower extremity muscle strength between the two groups.

Discussion: PAD diagnosed based on an ankle-brachial index of <1.00 was independently associated with impaired physical function and reduced physical activity in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease; hemodialysis; peripheral artery disease; physical activity; physical function.