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Physical activity inversely tied to COPD symptom burden

Physical activity inversely tied to COPD symptom burden

Moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) is inversely associated with symptom burden in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study recently published online in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.

Loes Oostrik, from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated the relationship between symptom burden and MVPA in individuals from a population-based sample mirroring the general population. The analysis included 406 participants with mild COPD, 287 participants with moderate COPD, 347 healthy individuals, and 474 individuals at risk for developing COPD.

The researchers found significant associations between high symptom burden and lower MVPA levels in the overall COPD sample (β = −717.09) and in the moderate COPD subgroup (β = −694.1). COPD was previously undiagnosed in 72 percent of the participants with COPD. Compared with individuals with physician-diagnosed COPD, the undiagnosed participants had significantly higher MVPA (β = −592.41).

"It can be difficult and scary to exercise while experiencing symptoms like breathlessness," Stephanie Williams, R.R.T., the COPD Foundation vice president of education and engagement, said in a statement. "However, like gentle yoga and walking—under the supervision of a doctor—can improve COPD symptoms and quality of life for those living with the disease."

More information: Loes Oostrik et al, Physical Activity and Symptom Burden in COPD: The Canadian Obstructive Lung Disease Study, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation (2022). DOI: 10.15326/jcopdf.2022.0349

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