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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
3-Apr-2014

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Contact: Tracy Hampton
thampton@nasw.org
American Society of Nephrology

Walking may help protect kidney patients against heart disease and infections

Modest exercise has anti-inflammatory effects on the body

Washington, DC (April 3, 2014) — Just a modest amount of exercise may help reduce kidney disease patients' risks of developing heart disease and infections, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Heart disease and infection are major complications and the leading causes of death in patients with chronic kidney disease. It is now well established that immune system dysfunction is involved in both of these pathological processes. Specifically, impaired immune function predisposes to infection, while persistent immune activation leads to a state of chronic inflammation that can damage the insides of blood vessels and increase heart disease risk. Physical exercise may confer benefits by exerting anti-inflammatory effects and enhancing immunity, but such effects have been largely unexplored in kidney disease.

Joćo Viana, PhD, Nicolette Bishop, PhD (Loughborough University, in the UK), and Alice Smith, PhD (University of Leicester) and their colleagues designed a study to explore the impact of exercise on a range of immune and inflammatory parameters in patients with chronic kidney disease.

In an acute exercise study conducted in 15 patients, 30 minutes of walking improved the responsiveness of immune cells called neutrophils to a bacterial challenge in the post-exercise period. It also induced a systemic anti-inflammatory environment in the body.

In a regular exercise study, six months of regular walking (30 minutes/day, five times/week) reduced immune cell activation and markers of systemic inflammation in 20 patients compared with another 20 patients who did not increase their usual activity levels over the same period of time.

"Thus, exercise exerts anti-inflammatory effects in patients with kidney disease and may in this way reduce their high risk for heart disease," said Dr. Viana. "Our study also found no evidence that this level of exercise might be harmful to the immune system in people with kidney disease."

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Highlights

Study co-authors include George Kosmadakis, Dipl Med, Emma Watson, PhD, Alan Bevington, DPhil, and John Feehally, DM.

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures.

The article, entitled "Evidence for Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Exercise in CKD," will appear online at http://jasn.asnjournals.org/ on April 3, 2014.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.



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