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The effects of twelve weeks of supervised aerobic and resistance training on exercise capacity, muscle strength, quality of life, body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors in kidney transplant recipients Open Access


Other title
kidney transplant
aerobic training
strength training
exercise capacity
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Riess, Kenneth James
Supervisor and department
Haykowsky, Mark (Rehabilitation Medicine)
Examining committee member and department
Welsh, Robert (Medicine)
Lewanczuk, Richard (Medicine)
Clark, Alex (Nursing)
Chilibeck, Phil (Kinesiology)
Gourishankar, Sita (Medicine)
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality in kidney transplant recipients (KTR). The increased CVD risk is due, in part, to reduced cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak) associated with inactivity. The role of exercise training to improve overall physical fitness, quality of life (QOL) and CVD risk factors in KTR has not been well studied. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the effects of a 12 week supervised exercise training (ET) program versus usual care (UC) on VO2peak , muscular strength, QOL, body composition and CVD risk profile in KTR. Further, the mechanisms responsible for the increase in VO2peak will be determined. Thirty-seven KTR underwent baseline testing consisting of: incremental exercise test with expired gas analysis and impedance cardiography, resting small and large arterial compliance, lower extremity maximal strength, estimation of lean body mass, 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, QOL and a 10-year CVD risk score. Subjects were randomized to ET (aerobic exercise 30 – 60 minutes, 3 days/week and strength training 2 days/week) or UC. Thirty-one subjects (mean age; 55 ± 13 years) were randomized to ET (n=16) or UC (n=15). The changes in VO2peak (ET 2.6 ± 3.1 vs UC -0.5 ± 2.5 ml∙kg-1∙min -1), peak heart rate (ET 8 ± 14 vs UC – 2.9 ± 11.2 beat• min-1), peak cardiac output (ET 1.7 ± 2.6 vs UC –0.01 ± 0.8 L • min-1), leg press (ET 48.7 ± 34.1 vs UC -10.5 ± 37.7 kg) and leg extension strength (ET 9.5 ± 10.3 vs UC 0.65 ± 5.5 kg) were significantly greater after 12 weeks of ET compared to UC. The change in overall QOL improved significantly after 12 weeks of ET compared to UC. No significant difference was found between groups for 24 hour blood pressure, small and large arterial compliance, lean body mass or 10 year CVD risk score. The major finding of this thesis is that 12 weeks of supervised ET increased VO2peak secondary to an increase in peak heart rate and cardiac output. A secondary finding is that ET increased lower extremity maximal muscular strength and improved QOL compared to UC.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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