- Walking and muscle-strengthening exercises can have a real effect on mortality in patients with chronic liver disease.
Why this matters
- The rate of liver disease continues to increase, in association with increasing obesity.
- Mortality rates due to cirrhosis are increasing dramatically, and are expected to triple by the year 2030.
- This study suggests an approach to lifestyle modification that could help reduce these trends.
- 68,449 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 48,748 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) reported weekly time spent on resistance exercise, walking, and individual aerobic activities every 2 years from 1986 through 2012.
- Researchers evaluated the relationships between baseline and cumulative updated physical activity and cirrhosis-related death in these studies.
- 269 deaths attributable to cirrhosis (148 women, 121 men) were identified.
- Physical activity was inversely associated with risk for cirrhosis-related death (P for trend=.004).
- Equivalent energy expenditures from vigorous aerobic activity and from walking resulted in comparable magnitudes of risk reduction.
- Further risk reduction was observed with combined walking and muscle-strengthening exercises.
- The researchers suggest a need for additional research into the optimum dose, type, and intensity of physical activity to reduce mortality from chronic liver disease.