Data from Revista Medica de Chile - Curated by EPG Health - Date available 01 December 2011

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1 December 2011

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BACKGROUND:

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) decrease their physical activity. However, it is unknown at which stage of the disease the reduction occurs and whether dyspnea is a limiting factor.

AIM:

To compare physical activity between patients with COPD and controls of similar age and to assess its association with disease severity.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

We studied 112 patients with mild to very severe COPD and 55 controls. Lung function, six-minutes walking test (SMWT), and physical activity through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) were measured.

RESULTS:

Compared to controls, physical activity was significantly reduced in COPD patients (1823 ± 2598 vs. 2920 ± 3040 METs min/week; p = 0.001). Patients were more frequently sedentary (38 vs. 11%), while controls were more often very active (31 vs. 19%) or moderately active (58 vs. 43%). Physical activity was reduced from Global Initiative for Obstructive Chronic Lung Disease (GOLD) stage 2 and from Modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) dyspnea grade 1. Weak relationships were observed between lung function, SMWT and physical activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Physical activity decreases early in the course of the disease and when dyspnea is still mild, among patients with COPD.

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