Association of Fitness With Racial Differences in Chronic Kidney Disease

Amanda E. Paluch*, Lindsay R. Pool, Tamara Isakova, Cora E. Lewis, Rupal Mehta, Pamela J. Schreiner, Stephen Sidney, Myles Wolf, Mercedes R. Carnethon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Non-white minorities are at higher risk for chronic kidney disease than non-Hispanic whites. Better cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with slower declines in estimated glomerular filtration rate and a lower incidence of chronic kidney disease. Little is known regarding associations of fitness with racial disparities in chronic kidney disease. Methods: A prospective cohort of 3,842 young adults without chronic kidney disease completed a maximal treadmill test at baseline in 1985–1986. Chronic kidney disease status was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate of <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 during 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year follow-up assessments (through 2006). Analyses were completed in 2019. Multivariable Cox models were used to determine hazard ratios and 95% CI for incidence of chronic kidney disease. Multivariable models included race, gender, age, field center, education, baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate, and time-varying covariates of healthy diet index, smoking status, alcohol intake, BMI, systolic blood pressure, and fasting glucose. Percent attenuation quantified the association of fitness to racial disparities in chronic kidney disease. Results: Chronic kidney disease incidence was higher among blacks (n=83/1,941, 1.61 per 1,000 person years) than whites (43/1,901, 0.82 per 1,000 person years). Every 1-minute shorter treadmill duration was associated with 1.14 (95% CI=1.04, 1.25) times higher risk of chronic kidney disease. Blacks were 1.72 (95% CI=1.13, 2.63) times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared with whites. The risk was reduced to 1.54 (95% CI=1.01, 2.39) with fitness added. This suggests that fitness is associated with 20.4% (95% CI=5.8, 43.0%) of the excess risk of chronic kidney disease attributable to race. Conclusions: Low fitness is a modifiable factor that may contribute to the racial disparity in chronic kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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