Kidney Disease Risk Linked to Lifestyle Choices

Sedentary lifestyle may increase kidney disease risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh

(RxWiki News) If you needed another reason to get off the couch and move around, here it is.

A new study from the University of Utah School of Medicine (UUSM) found that sedentary behavior, or engaging in activities while seated or lying down, may be linked to an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Sedentary behavior is also an important risk factor for diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Not to be confused with physical inactivity, or a lack of moderate to vigorous exercise, sedentary behavior is marked by barely raising the body's energy expenditure above resting levels.

"Sedentary behavior, which is not mere lack of moderate/vigorous physical activity, is likely an independent risk factor for chronic kidney disease," said study author Srini Beddhu, MD, of UUSM, in a press release. "It needs to be tested whether sedentary behavior affects the progression of chronic kidney disease, and thereby, increases the risk of end stage renal disease. Hence, interventions targeting sedentary behavior to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease need to be conducted."

CKD is the gradual loss of kidney function over time. As CKD worsens, waste matter can build up in the blood. This can lead to other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, anemia (blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of the body), heart and blood vessel disease, and nerve damage. CKD may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis (a blood-cleansing procedure) or a kidney transplant to maintain life.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 26 million US adults have CKD. Millions more are at risk of developing it. However, early detection and treatment can often keep CKD from getting worse.

For this study, Dr. Beddhu and team used data from the 2003 to 2006 National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to look at the physical activity patterns of 5,873 adults with an average age of 49.

Potentially confounding factors, such as age, gender, race, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, lung disease and mobility limitations, were accounted for.

Each 80-minute increase in sedentary behavior per day was linked to a 20 percent increased risk of CKD. This link persisted even after adjusting for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

This study was presented at the American Society of Nephrology's Kidney Week 2015 in San Diego, CA. Research presented at conferences may not have been peer-reviewed.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases funded this research.

Dr. Beddhu is a consultant and scientific adviser for AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company that makes products used in the treatment of chronic diseases.

Review Date: 
October 19, 2015
Last Updated:
October 20, 2015