Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Study protocol

Effects of exercise on kidney function among non-diabetic patients with hypertension and renal disease: randomized controlled trial

Franklin C Barcellos1*, Iná S Santos1, Grégore Iven Mielke1, Fabrício B del Vecchio2 and Pedro C Hallal12

Author Affiliations

1 Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, Rua Marechal Deodoro, 1160 Pelotas, RS, Brazil

2 Postgraduate Program in Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, Rua Luiz de Camões, 625 Pelotas, RS, Brazil

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:90  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-90

Published: 28 August 2012



Chronic kidney disease is an important public health threat. Such patients present high morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, with low quality of life and survival, and also high expenditure resulting from the treatment. Arterial hypertension is both a cause and a complication of kidney disease; also, arterial hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease among patients with kidney diseases. There is some evidence that exercise interventions may be beneficial to chronic kidney disease patients, but previous studies included only end-stage patients, i.e. those undergoing dialysis. This study aims to evaluate the effect of exercise on kidney function, quality of life and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease among non-diabetic chronic hypertensive kidney disease patients who are not undergoing dialysis.


The participants will be located through screening hypertensive patients attended within the public healthcare network in Pelotas, a city in south of Brazil. Eligible individuals will be those with glomerular filtration rate between 15 and 59 ml/min x 1.73 m2. The randomization will be done in fixed-size blocks of six individuals such that 75 participants will be allocated to each group. At baseline, information on demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral, anthropometric, blood pressure and quality-of-life variables will be collected, and laboratory tests will be performed. The intervention will consist of three weekly physical exercise sessions lasting 60–75 minutes each, with a total duration of 16 weeks. The outcomes will be the kidney function progression rate, quality of life, blood pressure, lipid profile, hemoglobin level, ultrasensitive C-reactive protein level, and ankle-arm index. The patients in both groups (intervention and control) will be reassessed and compared partway through the study (8th week), at the end of the intervention (16th week) and in the 8th week after the end of the intervention.


There is still a scarcity of data relating to the effect of physical exercise among the most numerous group of individuals with kidney disease, i.e. patients undergoing conservative treatment. In particular, there is a lack of randomized controlled studies. This study will help fill this gap.