Pulmonary rehabilitation and improvement in exercise capacity improve survival in COPD

Pulmonary rehabilitation and improvement in exercise capacity significantly improve survival in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study from the UK.

"While the short- and medium-term benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD patients have been shown, its effects on survival have not been studied," said lead author Johanna Williams, MSc, a researcher at the Department of at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. "Our analysis shows that completion of pulmonary rehabilitation and a higher level of response in is associated with a significant survival advantage in COPD patients."

The results will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.

Of 1,615 patients with COPD in the observational , 55.4% completed pulmonary rehabilitation. Subjects who completed pulmonary rehabilitation (n = 895), compared with those who did not (n = 720), had significantly higher mean incremental shuttle walking test (ISWT) scores at baseline. Kaplan Meier (KM) survival analysis revealed that there was a statistically significant for those who completed rehabilitation when compared with those who didn't complete (p<0.001 by the log rank test).

"These results should be interpreted with caution however," said Ms. Williams "as improved survival is unlikely to be simply a result of completion of rehabilitation but also probably reflects that the sickest patients may be unable to complete and/or may have more co-morbidities so are more likely to die sooner".

For those patients that did complete rehabilitation, 56.3 percent improved by more than 48m, the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) for the ISWT, and were considered responders. After adjustment for a number of including baseline ISWT, survival analysis showed that these responders had a significantly improved survival compared with non-responders (p<0.001 by the log rank test). "It should be remembered however that it is currently unknown whether other factors (possibly genetic) may influence a better training response and thus may be also associated with improved survival" said Ms. Williams.

"Our study shows that pulmonary rehabilitation and the magnitude of response in exercise tolerance following in patients with COPD is associated not only with short-term improvements, but possibly also with improved survival," said Ms. Williams. "COPD patients should be encouraged to exercise."

More information: "Magnitude Of Improvement In Exercise Tolerance Following Pulmonary Rehabilitation Predicts Survival: A Long Term Observational Study" (Session B97, Monday, May 21, Room 3020-3022, Moscone Center; Abstract 27501)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sleep apnea linked to poor aerobic fitness

Nov 24, 2014

People with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may have an intrinsic inability to burn high amounts of oxygen during strenuous aerobic exercise, according to a new study led by researchers at University ...

Sleep apnea may contribute to kidney disease progression

Nov 14, 2014

Sleep apnea may accelerate kidney function decline in diabetic patients with kidney disease, according to a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2014 November 11-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, ...

Surgery for sleep apnea improves asthma control

Nov 04, 2014

Surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids in children suffering from sleep apnea is associated with decreased asthma severity, according to the first large study of the connection, published in the journal ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.