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Strength Training May Help Kidney Patients

Study of over 5 years shows those with largest mid-arm muscles 37% less likely to die

Strength training may help kidney disease patients live longer and healthier lives, according to a new study.

This discovery comes from researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, who studied the effect that lean and fat body mass had on the health and survival of 792 dialysis patients. Over five years, the researchers measured the participants' mid-arm muscle circumference (a measure of lean mass) and their triceps' skin fold (a measure of fat mass), and found that patients with the largest mid-arm muscles scored higher on a mental health test and lived longer than those with the smallest mid-arm muscles.

In fact, participants with the highest mid-arm muscle circumference were 37 percent less likely to die than those with the lowest circumference, reported Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and colleagues.

The link between triceps' skin-fold measurements and patients' health and survival wasn't as strong, he added.

The results suggest that dialysis patients may benefit from pumping iron or taking other steps to increase their lean body mass, the researchers noted.

More studies are needed but "it is possible that interventions that can improve muscle mass or increase lean body mass can lead to better clinical outcomes and greater survival in tens of thousands of dialysis patients and probably millions of individuals with other stages of chronic kidney disease or other chronic disease states," they concluded in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology

Article Reviewed: July 18, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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