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JRPMS Vol 6, No 3, September 2022, p.88-92

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-06-088


Review Article

The effect of exercise on cardiovascular function of patients with chronic kidney disease

Konstantina Kanellopoulou1,2

  1. Nephrology department of General Hospital of Athens G. Gennimatas, Athens, Greece
  2. Postgraduate Program “Metabolic Bone Diseases”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece

Keywords: Aerobic exercise, Cardiovascular disease, Cardiovascular function, Chronic kidney disease, Renal disease


Chronic kidney disease is a growing syndrome of high prevalence, characterized by alterations in water, mineral and acid-base balance. It is strongly associated with other comorbidities, one of which being cardiovascular disease which not only is a causative factor but most importantly the result of the progression of renal disease. Sedentary life, dysregulation of blood pressure and lipid metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction are considered to be the principal factors leading to cardiovascular deterioration in these patients. Aerobic exercise is a main therapeutic strategy targeting better cardiovascular outcomes in the general population with proven benefits on physical fitness status, visceral fat reduction and blood pressure control. In our review, we assessed the effects of aerobic exercise on cardiovascular function of renal disease patients and confirmed its beneficial effects on traditional risk factors of cardiovascular disease such as physical fitness status, body mass index and visceral fat reduction. However, no significant alterations in non-traditional aspects of cardiovascular disease such as inflammation, vascular function, and lipid metabolism were found because chronic kidney disease patients are rarely encouraged to exercise and there is a lack in adequate evidence from big trials to clarify the potency of aerobic exercise on these factors.