Cycling during dialysis sessions could boost patients’ heart health and cut medical costs otherwise difficult to achieve because of the timeconsuming nature of dialysis, according to a study published in Kidney International. With dialysis leading to long-term scarring of the heart that can eventually lead to heart failure, investigators assessed whether exercise could reduce these side effects. For the study, participants were offered 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on a specially adapted bicycle during their regular dialysis sessions. MRI scans of their hearts were done 6 months later and compared with pre-study images. Patients who cycled during dialysis showed a number of improvements in heart health. Their hearts were a more normal size and they had less scarring and less stiffness of major blood vessels. In addition, the healthcare costs were about $1,900 lower for patients who cycled during dialysis. “Unfortunately, by the time that someone has traveled to and from the dialysis unit, and spent 4 hours connected up to the dialysis machine, there’s very little time to do anything else that day, and the reality is that this happens three times a week for most patients,” a co-author said. The study findings offer a chance for significant improvements to patients’ heart health, which may, in turn, have a big impact on their overall outlook, he added.