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Am J Kidney Dis. 2003 Aug;42(2):362-9.

Effects of exercise training on coronary heart disease risk factors in renal transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.



Multiple risk-factor interventions that include lifestyle changes have been proved to be effective in reducing risk profile in persons at high risk for developing coronary heart disease (CHD). There have not been similar studies involving transplant recipients. The purpose of this study is to examine effects of exercise training on cardiovascular risk profile during the first year after renal transplantation. We used traditional CHD risk factors and the Framingham CHD prediction methods.


Ninety-six transplant recipients were randomly assigned to 2 groups at 1 month posttransplantation: the exercise training (EX group; n = 51) and usual care groups (UC group; n = 45). Testing was performed at baseline and 12 months posttransplantation and included maximal exercise testing and evaluation of CHD risk factors and risk-factor categories, determined by means of the Framingham equations.


Overall 10-year CHD risk score did not change in either group. All patients showed increases in total cholesterol (TC) level, high-density lipoprotein fraction of cholesterol (HDL-C), and body mass index over time. No differences were observed between groups, except for a trend toward greater improvement in HDL cholesterol levels in the EX group (P = 0.07). Significantly more patients in the EX group moved out of the high-risk category in TC-HDL ratio. All patients remained in the high-risk category for physical fitness. There was a significant negative correlation of CHD risk and maximal exercise capacity (r = -0.406; P < 0.001).


Exercise training alone does not reduce CHD risk during the first year after transplantation. Research to determine the effects of multiple risk interventions during a longer period in transplant recipients is warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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