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The Effects of Exercise and Sport in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients: A Review.

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journal contribution
posted on 12.12.2016, 14:55 by Jill Neale, Alice C. Smith, Nicolette C. Bishop
Solid organ transplantation is the criterion standard treatment for many with end-organ failure and can offer a new independence from the burden of disease. However solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) remain at high risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease, and poor quality of life and physical functioning. Increasing physical activity and exercise can improve the health of the general population; however, the effects on those with a transplant remain unclear. Intensive exercise and sporting activity has the potential to be beneficial, although there remain concerns particularly around the effects on immune function and the CV system. This review summarizes what is known about the effects of exercise on determinants of health in SOTRs and then collates the available literature investigating the consequences of intensive exercise and sport on the health of SOTR. There is a paucity of high-quality research, with most evidence being case studies or anecdotal; this is understandable given the relatively few numbers of SOTRs who are performing sport and exercise at a high level. However, if suitable evidence-based guidelines are to be formed and SOTRs are to be given reassurances that their activity levels are not detrimental to their transplanted organ and overall health, then more high-quality studies are required.


This activity was conducted under the auspices of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) England, a collaboration between several universities, NHS trusts and sporting and public bodies. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of NCSEM England or the partners involved. The work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Diet, Lifestyle & Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit based at University Hospitals of Leicester and Loughborough University. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health



American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2016

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins for Asociación Médica Latinoamericana de Rehabilitación (AMLAR), Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP)





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