Kirsten Johansen, MD
Staff Physician, Medical Service and Director, Dialysis, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF
Physical Activity in Patients on Dialysis
Dr. Kirsten Johansen was one of the first investigators to perform detailed studies of physical functioning among dialysis patients, including physical performance, self-reported functioning, and muscle weakness and atrophy. She was the first to quantify both the degree of physical inactivity among dialysis patients and the association between physical inactivity and mortality in this population. Dr. Johansen's group found that dialysis patients were significantly less active than even sedentary healthy individuals of similar age, and that physical inactivity is associated with higher mortality among patients on dialysis even after adjusting for other factors associated with inactivity and with mortality. In related research, Dr. Johansen designed and completed the first randomized study of the effects of anabolic steroids on lean body mass in dialysis patients. A follow-up study-the largest randomized study of exercise or anabolic steroids in the dialysis population-showed that both nandrolone and weight lifting can increase leg muscle size, and that exercise also resulted in improvement in muscle strength and self-reported physical functioning.
Johansen KL. 2008. Exercise and dialysis. Hemodial Int 12(3):290-300.
Wetmore JB, Lovett DH, Hung AM, Cook-Wiens G, Mahnken JD, Sen S, Johansen KL. 2008. Associations of interleukin-6, C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A with mortality in haemodialysis patients. Nephrology (Carlton) 13(7):593-600.