ATLANTA—Exercising during dialysis sessions has the potential to improve renal anemia in elderly patients, Japanese researchers reported at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2013 meeting.

Yoshimi Ueda, MD, of Tokyu Hospital in Tokyo, and colleagues evaluated 16 hemodialysis patients older than 65 years who participated in an intradialytic rehabilitation (IDR) program. They prescribed stretching of the lower limbs and progressive resistance exercise. Subjects had a mean age of 74.7 years and mean dialysis vintage of 125.4 months. Three patients withdrew from the program. Patients exercised each dialysis session for at least 12 weeks. 

From baseline to 12 weeks, the weekly dose of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents declined significantly from 6,923 IU to 5,423 IU and mean hemoglobin levels rose from 10.8 to 11.4 g/dL. In more than half of the patients, physical strength was maintained after the program.

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