National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings

National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings

March 30, 2020
1 min read

Daily text messages could help improve diet, lifestyle for patients with CKD

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Mustafa Kagalwalla

A healthy diet and lifestyle intervention utilizing daily text messages may help improve the behaviors of patients with chronic kidney disease, according to results of a pilot intervention that were presented at the virtual National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings.

“We know that our lifestyle and dietary choices have a big impact on our health,” Mustafa Kagalwalla, MD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, told Healio Nephrology. “Also, we have widespread availability of cellphones now. We wanted to see if we could use this technology to improve the health of patients with chronic kidney disease.”

For the study, all patients were first given a 1-hour educational session related to healthy diet and lifestyle. Patients were then randomized to receive a daily text message for 4 weeks or not (87% were African American; 43% with annual income < $20,000). The text messages included “tips for healthier cooking, food choices, dining out and ideas for overcoming barriers to a healthier diet.”

A follow-up questionnaire showed that although dietary knowledge increased in both groups, with a trend toward increased fruit/vegetable consumption for patients who received the text messages, these changes were not statistically significant, according to the researchers.

However, patients who received the messages reported reading more than 90% of the texts, 100% found the texts useful and easy to understand, 95% reported that the texts motivated them to change their lifestyle, 90% reported their diet became healthier and 74% reported increased exercise.

“The next steps,” Kagalwalla said, “will be to conduct a similar study on a larger scale with a long-term follow-up and assess its effect on CKD progression and progression to ESRD.” – by Melissa J. Webb


Kagalwalla M, et al. Abstract #414. Presented at: National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings; March 26-29, 2020. (virtual meeting).

Disclosure: Kagalwalla reports no relevant financial disclosures.