Certain lifestyle factors—such as not smoking, getting regular physical activity, and avoiding a low body weight—may help prolong the lives of individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).
More than 26 million individuals in the United States have CKD. In the general population, a healthy lifestyle is linked with a lower risk of dying prematurely, but little is known about such a link in individuals with CKD, who are at higher risk for developing heart problems and dying from heart disease.
To investigate, Ana Ricardo, MD (University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System) and her colleagues assessed the association of four lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and smoking) with death among 2,288 participants with CKD in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
After an average follow-up of 13 years, 1,319 deaths occurred. Among the major findings:
•Compared with individuals with the lowest healthy lifestyle score, participants with the highest score (nonsmokers who exercised regularly, had a healthy diet, and kept a BMI above 22 kg/m2) were 53% less likely to die from any cause.
•Individuals with a BMI of 18.5 to <22 had a 30% increased mortality rate compared with those with a BMI of 22 to <25 kg/m2. (Normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2.)
•There was a 46% decreased mortality with never vs current smoking, and 20% decreased mortality with regular vs no physical activity.
•Diet was not significantly associated with mortality.
"Examination of individual components of the healthy lifestyle score, with adjustment for other components, suggested that the greatest reduction in all-cause mortality was related to nonsmoking," said Dr. Ricardo.