Physical activity patterns in chronic hemodialysis patients: comparison of dialysis and nondialysis days

Karen M Majchrzak, Lara B Pupim, Kong Chen, Cathi J Martin, Sheila Gaffney, Jane H Greene, T Alp Ikizler
Journal of Renal Nutrition 2005, 15 (2): 217-24

OBJECTIVE: To determine physical activity patterns in chronic hemodialysis patients with a specific emphasis on the difference between dialysis and nondialysis days. Design A cross-sectional single-center study.

SETTING: Vanderbilt University Outpatient Dialysis Unit.

PATIENTS: Twenty current chronic hemodialysis patients: 10 male, 10 female; 15 black, 5 white; mean age, 50.1 +/- 9.9 years; height, 164.5 +/- 10.9 cm; weight, 82.5 +/- 15.4 kg; length on dialysis, 57.3 +/- 45.3 months.

METHODS: Minute-by-minute physical activity was assessed over a 7-day period using a triaxial accelerometer, which consists of raw numbers or counts calculated by the 3 axes of the accelerometer (PA counts). PA counts were extrapolated on a daily and hourly basis. Physical functioning tests included: sit-to-stand, 6-minute walk, and 1-repetition maximal leg press exercise. Laboratory values for serum concentrations of albumin, prealbumin, C-reactive protein, and cholesterol were also collected.


RESULTS: Total PA counts were significantly lower on dialysis days when compared with nondialysis days (128,279 +/- 74,009 versus 168,744 +/- 95,168, respectively, P = .025). The average PA counts during the 4-hour dialysis time period were significantly lower on dialysis days when compared with nondialysis days (3,086 +/- 3,749 versus 11,070 +/- 7,695, respectively, P = .001). At postdialysis hours 1 and 2, PA counts on dialysis days were significantly higher than on nondialysis days (11,410 +/- 5,340 versus 9,082 +/- 6,646, P = .008, and 14,048 +/- 9,728 versus 8,662 +/- 6,433, P = .016, respectively). By postdialysis hour 4, PA counts on dialysis days had significantly decreased when compared with nondialysis days (6,068 +/- 6,268 versus 10,512 +/- 7,420 PA counts, P = .01, respectively). From postdialysis hours 5 to 20, there was no significant difference in PA counts between dialysis and nondialysis days.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that physical activity is lower on dialysis days when compared with nondialysis days, and this decrease is caused by the lack of activity during the 4-hour hemodialysis procedure. New behavior modification strategies involving physical activity, both during hemodialysis and on nondialysis days, must be examined in this patient population.

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