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Washington Study Finds Exercise May Slow Decline in Kidney Function

CohenExercise could have a powerful effect on maintaining the health of patients with kidney disease, according to a study led by Dr. Cassianne Robinson-Cohen of the University of Washington Kidney Research Institute and the University of Washington School of Public Health. Dr. Robinson-Cohen and colleagues previously demonstrated a link between physical inactivity and the decline of kidney function in older adults. This study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, was conducted to see if physical activity might help maintain the health of patients with chronic kidney disease – a condition affecting about 60 million people globally.


The team, which included six faculty members from the School of Public Health, studied 256 participants of the Seattle Kidney Study for an average of 3.7 years. Researchers found each 60-minute increment in weekly physical activity was linked with a 0.5 percent slower decline per year in kidney function. “This study demonstrated that even small amounts of physical activity, such as walking 60 minutes per week, might slow the rate of kidney disease progression,” said Dr. Robinson-Cohen, an affiliate instructor of epidemiology. “Physical inactivity is emerging as one of the few risk factors for kidney disease progression that is amenable to intervention.”


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[Photo: Dr. Cassianne Robinson-Cohen]