Source: NIHR 09.04.2021
Cycling at moderate intensity during dialysis could drastically improve the heart health of patients with kidney failure and result in significant savings for the NHS, according to new research by the University of Leicester supported by the charity Kidney Research UK and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.
Patients in the CYCLE-HD study were offered 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on a specially adapted bicycle during their regular dialysis sessions. Dialysis can lead to long-term scarring of the heart, which can accumulate over time and lead to heart failure. The study set out to examine whether exercise could reduce these side-effects.
After six months, participants’ hearts were assessed with an MRI scan and compared with pre-trial imaging. Patients who had cycled showed improvements in several aspects of heart health – their hearts were more like a ‘normal’ size, they had less scarring, and there was less stiffness of the major blood vessels.