Fri Apr 20, 2007
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Patients with severe or “end stage” kidney disease can safely participate in weight lifting during dialysis and it seems to improve their quality of life, according to a study conducted in Australia.
Within 3 months, weight training increased patients’ muscles and strength and led to improved quality of life, the research team reports.
Patients with end stage kidney disease suffer from muscle wasting, lead author Dr. Bobby Cheema, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues point out. According to their report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, muscle wasting is one of the strongest predictors of death in these patients.
To see if training could counteract the process of muscle wasting, the investigators designed the Progressive Exercise for Anabolism in Kidney Disease (PEAK) trial. Forty-nine patients undergoing dialysis at an outpatient unit were randomly assigned to the exercise program or to a usual-care group.
The exercises were performed while patients were seated or laying on their back. Each session included 2 sets of 8 repetitions of 10 exercises, using free-weight dumbbells for the upper body and weighted ankle cuffs for the lower body.
After 12 weeks, CT scans showed that the weight-training group had significantly improved muscle quality.
Improvements in several other areas, such as total body strength and body weight, were also significantly greater among those who lifted weights. The intervention group also showed improvements in quality of life.
Cheema and his team detected no significant differences in dialysis-related problems. The only complication occurred in a 73-year-old woman — a partial tearing of a muscle — which was treated conservatively and had no effect on her ability to continue lifting weights.
The investigators conclude that weight training during dialysis may be a simple and practical method to improve the health of these patients.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, May 2007.