April 8, 2013--Washington, DC--According to a new study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, certain lifestyle factors can prolong the lives of individuals who are suffering from chronic kidney disease or CKD. The study points out that while healthy lifestyle choices are associated with longer life in the general population, these factors may have an even more significant impact on those with CKD, especially those undergoing dialysis treatment.
According to the study, 26 million people in the United States suffer from chronic kidney disease. These patients are at higher risk for heart disease than those in the general population, and certain dialysis drugs such as GranuFlo® or NaturaLyte® may increase that risk due to their tendency to cause serious heart conditions.
The study examined the effects on 2,288 participants with CKD of smoking, excess weight and BMI, and lack of physical exercise. Findings included:
• Nonsmokers who exercised regularly and ate a healthy diet with a BMI or body mass index between 22 and 25 were 53 percent less likely to die from all causes.
• Individuals with a low BMI, between 18.5 and 22, had a 30 percent greater chance of dying than those with a BMI between 22 and 25.
• Those who smoked at a 46 percent greater chance of dying than those who never smoked.
• Those who engaged in regular physical activity decreased their death risk by 20 percent.
After adjustments for various factors, researchers concluded that smoking was the single greatest risk factor. However, regular physical activity and a healthy weight were also linked to decreased mortality risk.
The study's findings are subject to review since the patients were observed in "natural" settings rather than controlled ones, giving rise to the possibility of other factors contributing to the mortality rate. However, it seems clear that there may be a link between a healthy lifestyle and continuing survival during dialysis.
The study did not examine heart conditions caused by dangerous dialysis drugs, however. Even with a healthy lifestyle, patients who used the Fresenius drugs GranuFlo® or NaturaLyte® may be at higher risk for heart complications and possible death than those who did not use these drugs.
GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte® have been shown to increase death risks in dialysis patients due to the tendency of these drugs to suddenly spike blood alkaline levels. This can lead to heart arrhythmia, heart attack, stroke or other serious complications.
Victims who have been injured by the use of dialysis drugs may be entitled to compensation as part of new class-action lawsuits filed against Fresenius, the maker of these dialysis drugs.
Source: News Medical Net, "Healthy Lifestyle May Help Prolong Lives of Individuals With Chronic Kidney Disease," March 25, 2013.