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Physical activity level and its clinical correlates in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a cross-sectional study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Physiotheraphy. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory Medicine and Allergology.
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2013 (English)In: Respiratory research (Online), ISSN 1465-993X, Vol. 14, 128- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Decreased physical activity is associated with higher mortality in subjects with COPD. The aim of this study was to assess clinical characteristics and physical activity levels (PALs) in subjects with COPD. Methods: Seventy-three subjects with COPD (67 +/- 7 yrs, 44 female) with one-second forced expiratory volume percentage (FEV1%) predicted values of 43 +/- 16 were included. The ratio of total energy expenditure (TEE) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) was used to define the physical activity level (PAL) (PAL = TEE/RMR). TEE was assessed with an activity monitor (ActiReg), and RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry. Walking speed (measured over 30-meters), maximal quadriceps muscle strength, fat-free mass and systemic inflammation were measured as clinical characteristics. Hierarchical linear regression was applied to investigate the explanatory values of the clinical correlates to PAL. Results: The mean PAL was 1.47 +/- 0.19, and 92% of subjects were classified as physically very inactive or sedentary. The walking speed was 1.02 +/- 0.23 m/s, the quadriceps strength was 31.3 +/- 11.2 kg, and the fat-free mass index (FFMI) was 15.7 +/- 2.3 kg/m(2), identifying 42% of subjects as slow walkers, 21% as muscle-weak and 49% as FFM-depleted. The regression model explained 45.5% (p < 0.001) of the variance in PAL. The FEV1% predicted explained the largest proportion (22.5%), with further improvements in the model from walking speed (10.1%), muscle strength (7.0%) and FFMI (3.0%). Neither age, gender nor systemic inflammation contributed to the model. Conclusions: Apart from lung function, walking speed and muscle strength are important correlates of physical activity. Further explorations of the longitudinal effects of the factors characterizing the most inactive subjects are warranted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 14, 128- p.
Keyword [en]
Physical activity, Activity monitor, COPD, Physical function, Body composition
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-213928DOI: 10.1186/1465-9921-14-128ISI: 000327845500003OAI: diva2:683634
Available from: 2014-01-05 Created: 2014-01-05 Last updated: 2014-04-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessing Physical Activity and Physical Capacity in Subjects with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing Physical Activity and Physical Capacity in Subjects with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to assess measurement properties of methods suitable for screening or monitoring of physical capacity and physical activity in subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and to explore factors associated with physical activity levels.

Methods: Four observational studies were conducted. Participants in studies I-III (sample sizes) (n=49, n=15, n=73) were recruited from specialist clinics, and in study IV from a population-based cohort (COPD n=470 and Non-COPD n=659). Psychometric properties of methods assessing physical capacity (study I) and physical activity (study II) were investigated in laboratory settings. Daily physical activity and clinical characteristics were assessed with objective methods (study III) and with subjective methods (study IV).

Results: Physical capacity as measured by walking speed during a 30-metre walk test displayed high test-retest correlations (ICC>0.87) and small measurement error. The accuracy for step count and body positions differed between activity monitors and direct observations. In study III 92% of subjects had an activity level below what is recommended in guidelines. Forty five percent of subjects’ activity could be accounted for by clinical characteristics with lung function (22.5%), walking speed (10.1%), quadriceps strength (7.0%) and fat-free mass index (3.0%) being significant predictors. In study IV, low physical activity was significantly more prevalent in COPD subjects from GOLD grade ≥II than among Non-COPD subjects (22.4 vs. 14.6%, p = 0.016). The strongest factors associated with low activity in COPD subjects were a history of heart disease, OR (CI 95%) 2.11 (1.10-4.08) and fatigue, OR 2.33 (1.31-4.13) while obesity was the only significant factor in Non-COPD subjects, OR 2.26 (1.17-4.35).

Conclusion: The 30 meter walk test and activity monitors are useful when assessing physical capacity and physical activity, respectively in patients with COPD. Impaired physical activity in severe COPD is related to low lung function, low walking speed, low muscle strength and altered body composition, whereas comorbidities and fatigue are linked to insufficient physical activity in patients with moderately severe COPD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 64 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 982
COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, physical activity, measurement properties, reliability, accuracy, validity, sedentary behavior, activity monitor, questionnaire, anthropometrics, comorbidity, fatigue
National Category
Research subject
Medical Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-220602 (URN)978-91-554-8905-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-09, Gunnesalen, Akademiska sjukhuset, ingång 10, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-04-16 Created: 2014-03-17 Last updated: 2014-04-29

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