Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Habitual physical activity, renal function and chronic kidney disease: a cohort study of nearly 200 000 adults
  1. Cui Guo1,
  2. Tony Tam2,
  3. Yacong Bo1,3,
  4. Ly-yun Chang4,5,
  5. Xiang Qian Lao1,6,
  6. G Neil Thomas7
  1. 1 The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
  2. 2 Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  3. 3 School of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China
  4. 4 Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
  5. 5 MJ Health Research Foundation, MJ Group, Taipei, Taiwan
  6. 6 Shenzhen Research Institute of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  7. 7 Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Xiang Qian Lao, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong; xqlao{at}


Background There is limited information on the association between habitual physical activity (PA) and renal function.

Objective To report the longitudinal association between self-reported habitual PA and measures of renal function in a large cohort in Taiwan.

Methods A total of 199 421 participants (aged ≥20 years) were selected from a Taiwan cohort between 1996 and 2014. All participants underwent at least two standardised medical examinations between 1996 and 2014. Self-administrated questionnaires were used to collect information on habitual PA. We used a generalised linear mixed model to investigate the associations between habitual PA and yearly change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to investigate the associations between habitual PA and incident chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Results Participants had a median follow-up duration of 4.2 years (0.2–18.9). The yearly mean (±SD) decrease in eGFR in participants with baseline very low-PA, low-PA, moderate-PA and high-PA was 0.46±1.01, 0.36±0.97, 0.30±0.94 and 0.27±0.91 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. Relative to the participants with very low-PA, the coefficients of yearly eGFR change were −43.93 (95% CI −79.18 to −8.68), 35.20 (95% CI −2.56 to 72.96) and 53.56 (95% CI 10.42 to 96.70) µL/min/1.73 m2, respectively, for the participants with low-PA, moderate-PA and high-PA, after controlling for a wide range of covariates. Relative to the very low-PA participants, those who had low-PA, moderate-PA and high-habitual PA had HRs of 0.93 (95% CI 0.88 to 0.98), 0.94 (95% CI 0.89 to 0.99) and 0.91 (95% CI 0.85 to 0.96) to develop CKD, respectively, after controlling for the covariates.

Conclusions A higher level of habitual PA is associated with a smaller decrease in the level of eGFR and a lower risk of developing CKD.

  • chronic
  • exercises
  • kidney
  • physical activity

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors XQL and GNT conceived and designed the study. LC, TT and XQL acquired the data. CG and YB searched the literature. CG cleaned and analysed the data. CG, TT, XQL and GNT interpreted the results. CG and XQL drafted the manuscript. XQL, CG, GNT, YB, TT and LC revised the manuscript. All authors contributed to the content and critical revision of the manuscript and approved the final version. XQL obtained the funding. XQL is the guarantor of this study.

  • Funding This work was supported in part by the Environmental Health Research Fund of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (7104946).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Approved by the Joint Chinese University of Hong Kong – New Territories East Cluster Clinical Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. The data are deidentified participant data, which are available from MJ Health Institute upon reasonable request.