Disclosures: Schrauben reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
April 15, 2021
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Lifestyle changes in patients with kidney disease linked to lower mortality rates

Disclosures: Schrauben reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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A cohort study of 27,271 participants with and without reduced kidney function identified a link between healthy lifestyle behaviors and reduced risk of mortality, heart disease, coronary events and strokes.

“In epidemiologic studies, lifestyle behaviors that are generally regarded as healthy have been shown to strongly influence the risks of cardiovascular disease, independent of traditional risk factors and medications,” Sarah J. Schrauben, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues wrote. “However, many of these studies excluded groups at high risk for cardiovascular disease events, such as those with kidney disease.”

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Along with baseline characteristics of participants, Schrauben and colleagues examined five lifestyle behaviors associated with risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. These behaviors included smoking, BMI, physical activity, alcohol intake and diet.

Lifestyle behaviors of participants were classified as recommended or not recommended utilizing the American Heart Association intermediate and ideal categories to define behaviors. Lifestyle behavior scores ranging from 0 (least healthy) to 5 (healthiest) were generated as a sum of recommended life behaviors.

Schrauben and colleagues identified higher lifestyle behavior scores (3, 4 and 5) resulted in higher survival rates and a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease vs. participants with lower scores (0 to 2). The relative risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease related to healthy lifestyle was identified in patients with and those without kidney disease.

“The finding that recommended lifestyle behaviors are associated with better outcomes across levels of kidney function may reflect favorable effects of healthy behaviors on traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia, which are common to people with and without kidney disease,” according to Schrauben and colleagues. “Our study supports the importance of lifestyle as a potentially modifiable risk factor for individuals with and without kidney disease,” wrote the researchers.