Daily walk of just 3 km can reduce risk of hospitalization for respiratory problems

February 18, 2014

New research in Respirology shows that suffers of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can reduce their risk of being hospitalized with severe attacks, by maintaining an exercise regime of walking between three to six kilometers a day.

COPD, a term which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, results in breathing difficulties due to long-term lung damage. Severe symptoms (eCOPD), caused by a sudden loss of lung function, can be life threatening.

543 COPD patients were recruited from five Spanish respiratory clinics and their levels were calculated based on the distance they walked during the course of a week. This information was compared to hospitalization data taken from the database of Bilbao's Hospital Galdakao-Usansolo.

The results showed that COPD patients who maintained moderate or high levels of exercise over time, which may amount to low intensity activities such as walking for at least three to six kilometers per day, could reduce the likelihood of being hospitalized by severe symptoms.

In contrast, patients who maintained a low level of exercise or reduced their exercise over time were more likely to experience a significant increase in the rate of hospitalization with exacerbated symptoms.

"COPD patients are less likely to engage in than healthy individuals. However, regular exercise has been associated with reduced risk of hospitalization for exacerbated COPD and mortality among patients with COPD," said Dr. Cristóbal Esteban. "Indeed, even a low level of PA such as walking a minimum of 2 hours per week has been associated with decreased risk of hospitalization for exacerbated COPD."

More information: Cristóbal Esteban, Inmaculada Arostegui, Myriam Aburto, Javier Moraza, José M. Quintana, Susana Aizpiri, Luis V. Basualdo, Alberto Capelastegui, "Influence of changes in physical activity on frequency of hospitalization in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease", Respirology, DOI: 10.1111/resp.12239

Related Stories

Yoga practice beneficial to patients with COPD

October 28, 2013

An estimated 24 million Americans may have COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Patients with COPD have trouble pushing used air out of their lungs, making it difficult to take in healthy new air. ...

Coach app gets lung patients moving

February 10, 2014

Encouraging physical activity is an essential objective in treating COPD (chronic lung disease), but current treatment methods do not manage to effectively improve patients' daily activity behaviour. This is because on the ...

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 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.