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Research suggests ethnicity could impact health of kidney transplant patients

People’s ethnicity impacts their physical activity following a kidney transplant, according to research carried out by a Leicester team.

Transplant operations improve health and quality of life for patients with kidney failure, but cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the largest cause of mortality with people with the condition, particularly among South Asians.

A study, led by Dr Alice Smith (pictured) from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, explored ethnic differences in physical activity and functional capacity among kidney patients - and showed that South Asians have significantly lower physical function compared to white British people.

Dr Smith said: “Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of CVD, but we are finding that not many patients who have undergone the transplant operation are being advised to get active.

"People with a South Asian origin unfortunately appear to spend more time sitting down and have lower physical capacity than those with a white background. Our research has shown that we need to focus on appropriate strategies to engage South Asian kidney patients in exercise to improve physical function and reduce cardiovascular risk in this particularly vulnerable population.”

Researchers are now calling on healthcare professionals to adopt new ways of encouraging kidney transplant patients from the South Asian community to exercise in a bid to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

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