Flexing Muscles Helps Patients Live Longer

Photo:

Patients with a high mid-arm muscle
circumference scored better on a
mental health test and lived longer;
©panthermedia.net/Vishnukumar
Sivaraman

Kidney disease patients who are on dialysis live longer if they have a high body mass index (BMI); however, BMI measurements do not differentiate lean from fat mass. Doctor Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and his colleagues examined the effects of lean and fat mass on 792 dialysis patients’ health and survival by measuring patients’ mid-arm muscle circumference (a measure of lean mass) and triceps skinfold (a measure of fat mass) over a 5-year period.

The researchers found that patients with a high mid-arm muscle circumference scored better on a mental health test and lived longer than patients with a low mid-arm muscle circumference. Patients with the highest mid-arm muscle circumference were 37 percent less likely to die during the study period than patients with the lowest circumference. Triceps skinfold measurements were not as predictive of patients’ health and survival.

Larger studies with detailed body composition analyses are needed to verify the investigators’ findings, but “it is possible that interventions that can improve muscle mass or increase lean body mass can lead to better clinical outcomes and greater survival in tens of thousands of dialysis patients and probably millions of individuals with other stages of chronic kidney disease or other chronic disease states,” said Kalantar-Zadeh.

MEDICA.de; Source: American Society of Nephrology (ASN)