Feasibility of long-term intradialytic exercise for older patients receiving hemodialysis: a retrospective single-center study



Decreased physical function and physical activity are associated with adverse outcomes among patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). Although intradialytic exercise (IDEx) can help improve physical function, few studies have evaluated whether long-term IDEx could improve physical function or physical activity in older HD patients. This study aimed to investigate the effects of intradialytic exercise (IDEx) on physical function and physical activity in older HD patients over a 24-month period.


This retrospective study included clinically stable Japanese HD patients (aged ≥ 60 years) who visited our outpatient clinic. The patients were categorized into the IDEx (underwent IDEx) and non-IDEx (did not undergo IDEx) groups. The IDEx group underwent a 30–40 min low-intensity resistance training for three times/week during the HD period. Baseline, 12-month, and 24-month follow-up assessments were conducted to assess patient characteristics, physical function, and physical activity. Results were compared using generalized estimating equations.


The study included 57 patients with complete follow-up data. Baseline, 12-month, and 24-month follow-up assessments revealed no significant inter-group differences concerning physical function, physical activity, and other measurements.


IDEx was shown to have limited effect on physical function and physical activity among older HD patients in a clinical setting. Future studies are needed to re-evaluate IDEx programs in HD patients by incorporating exercises performed before and after the HD session.

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Data availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article.


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The authors thank the patients and the hemodialysis staff at the Tokyo Ayase Kidney Center for their contributions to this study.


This research was supported by JSPS KAKENHI [19K11372].

Author information




KI, YS, SY, RM, and AM analyzed and interpreted the data and contributed significantly to the preparation of the manuscript. KI, YS, SY, MH, and SY performed the physical function measurements. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yuta Suzuki.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This study’s retrospective protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Kitasato University School of Allied Health Sciences and complied with the standards set forth by the latest revision of the Declaration of Helsinki.

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All patients received a detailed explanation of the study protocol and provided informed consent.

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Imamura, K., Suzuki, Y., Yamamoto, S. et al. Feasibility of long-term intradialytic exercise for older patients receiving hemodialysis: a retrospective single-center study. Int Urol Nephrol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11255-021-02955-y

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  • Hemodialysis
  • Intradialytic exercise
  • Older patients
  • Physical activity
  • Physical function