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Amount and pattern of physical activity and sedentary behavior are associated with kidney function and kidney damage: The Maastricht Study.

Martens RJH, van der Berg JD, Stehouwer CDA, Henry RMA, Bosma H, Dagnelie PC, van Dongen MCJM, Eussen SJPM, Schram MT Sep SJS, van der Kallen CJH, Schaper NC1,4,5, Savelberg HHCM, van der Sande FM1, Kroon AA, Kooman JP, Koster A. 


Chronic kidney disease, which is defined as having a reduced kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)) and/or signs of kidney damage (albuminuria), is highly prevalent in Western society and is associated with adverse health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease. This warrants a search for risk factors of lower eGFR and higher albuminuria. Physical activity and sedentary behavior may be such risk factors.


To examine associations of physical activity (total, high, low), sedentary time and sedentary behavior patterns (breaks, prolonged bouts, average bout duration) with eGFR and albuminuria.


We examined these associations in 2,258 participants of the Maastricht Study (average age 60.1±8.1 years; 51.3% men), who wore an accelerometer 24h/day on 7 consecutive days. Associations with continuous eGFR and categories of urinary albumin excretion (UAE; <15 [reference category], 15-<30, ≥30 mg/24h) were evaluated with linear regression analyses and multinomial logistic regression analyses, respectively.


After adjustment for potential confounders, each extra hour of total physical activity was associated with a more favorable kidney function (betaeGFR = 2.30 (95%CI = 1.46; 3.14)), whereas each extra hour of sedentary behavior was associated with a more adverse kidney function (betaeGFR = -0.71 (-1.08; -0.35)). Also, compared to individuals with the lowest levels of total physical activity, individuals with the highest levels had less kidney damage (OR15-<30mg/24h = 0.63 (0.41; 0.96), OR≥30mg/24h = 0.84 (0.53; 1.35). An extra hour of sedentary behavior was associated with more kidney damage (OR15-<30 mg/24h = 1.11 (1.01; 1.22), OR≥30 mg/24h = 1.10 (0.99; 1.22)). Further, a highly sedentary pattern was associated with a more adverse kidney function, but no association was seen with kidney damage.


Physical activity and sedentary behavior were associated with kidney function and kidney damage. Additionally, sedentary behavior patterns were associated with kidney function. Causal studies are required to examine whether this indeed implicates that prevention strategies should focus not only on increasing physical activity, but on reducing sedentary behavior as well.

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