Exercise can Cut Kidney Disease Risk in Obese Diabetics


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Highlights:


  • Regular physical activity over an hour for 4 years is associated with a 33% lower risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in overweight and obese diabetics
  • Exercise reduces inflammation, regulates insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, lipid profiles, and metabolites
  • These mitigate cardiovascular risk factors and lower the risk of CKD, improving overall health

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) poses a significant health risk, particularly for individuals with overweight type 2 diabetes. Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests a promising link between high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity and a reduced risk of developing CKD in overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes, emphasizing the importance of physical activity in managing CKD risk (1 Trusted Source
Association of accelerometer-measured physical activity and its change with progression to chronic kidney disease in adults with type 2 diabetes and overweight/obesity

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What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time, often associated with underlying health conditions such as diabetes. It poses a substantial risk of complications and mortality, emphasizing the importance of proactive management and lifestyle interventions.

Did You Know?


Exercise therapy improves glomerular filtration rate, and reduces blood pressure and BMI in non-dialysis Chronic kidney disease patients.

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The Link Between Physical Activity and Chronic Kidney Disease

Physical activity has a substantial effect on reducing CKD risk among individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a primary contributor to CKD, and its coexistence with CKD significantly amplifies the risk of mortality. The research establishes that engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity plays a crucial role in lowering the risk of CKD in this population.

The study utilized data from the Look AHEAD trial, a randomized controlled trial involving overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes. The researchers narrowed their focus to an activity tracker study conducted at eight trial sites, encompassing 1746 participants with an average age of 58. The participants, motivated individuals by the nature of the trial, were predominantly women (59%).

The researchers measured levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity at the study’s onset and subsequent intervals over 8 years using activity trackers. CKD progression was defined as a deterioration of at least 30% in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to less than 60 ml/min. The average total weekly physical activity tally, including both short and long bouts, was 329 minutes.

Participants engaging in the highest levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (329 to 469 mins per week) were significantly less likely to progress to CKD compared to those with lower activity levels (under 220 mins per week). Notably, a higher cumulative weekly average was associated with a 9% lower risk for every 100 minutes of physical activity. A 19% lower risk was observed when this activity was achieved in bouts lasting at least 10 minutes.

The study revealed that increasing the weekly physical activity tally by just over an hour (63 minutes or more) over the first 4 years was associated with a remarkable 33% lower risk of CKD progression. This positive association was evident regardless of whether the physical activity occurred in bouts lasting above or below 10 minutes.

Read More to Know About ‘Aerobic Exercise may Improve Kidney Function in Obesity, Reduce Renal Disease Risk’

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Implications and Recommendations

The findings emphasize the importance of regular physical activity for individuals with type 2 diabetes in managing CKD risk. The researchers suggest that engaging in approximately 67 minutes of moderate-intensity activity daily, such as brisk walking, cycling, jogging, or swimming, could help individuals reach the recommended 469 minutes per week and curb their risk of CKD progression.

Regular physical activity has direct anti-inflammatory effects and can promote glycaemic control, improve insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, lipid profiles, and other metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, all of which are associated with renal function.

While acknowledging the study’s limitations, the researchers stress the potential benefits of regular physical activity in improving various metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors associated with renal function.

In conclusion, this observational study highlights a significant link between high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity and a reduced risk of CKD progression in overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. This encourages diabetics to engage in as much physical activity to maximize the potential health benefits.

Reference:

  1. Association of accelerometer-measured physical activity and its change with progression to chronic kidney disease in adults with type 2 diabetes and overweight/obesity – (https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2024/01/03/bjsports-2023-107564)

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