Kidney disease patients looking to improve quality of life and longevity should pick up a set of dumbbells, suggests a recent study. The authors of the study, published in the December issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (2010; 5 [12], 2258–68), measured mid-arm muscle circumference in 792 dialysis patients. During the study period the patients with the highest mid-arm circumference were 37% less likely to die than those with the lowest circumference.

According to one of the study’s authors, Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, PhD, “It is possible that interventions that can improve muscle mass or increase lean body mass can lead to better clinical outcomes and greater survival in tens of thousands of dialysis patients and probably millions of individuals with other stages of chronic kidney disease or other chronic disease states.”