Nylen S, Gandhi SM, Kheirbek R, Kokkinos P.

AIMS: To investigate the renal effects of fitness in people with diabetes with mild renal dysfunction. METHODS: The effect of a 12-week exercise programme on estimated GFR in 128 people with diabetes was evaluated. RESULTS: All cardiometabolic variables improved after 12 weeks of supervised exercise. Although there was a modest 3.9% increase in estimated GFR from baseline in the 128 people who completed the study, those with baseline chronic kidney disease stages 2 and 3 were found to have significant (6 and 12%, respectively; p < 0.01) improvements in post-exercise estimated GFR. Moreover, 42% of the people with chronic kidney disease stage 3 improved to chronic kidney disease stage 2 after the intervention.
CONCLUSIONS: Short-term exercise improves renal function in those with more moderate baseline chronic kidney disease. Thus, renal function appears to be responsive to enhanced physical fitness. Being a strong and modifiable risk factor, enhanced fitness should be considered a non-pharmacological adjunct in the management of diabetic kidney disease.

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