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Functional capacity, physical activity, and quality of life in hypoxemic patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Saglam M, Vardar-Yagli N, Savci S, Inal-Ince D, Calik-Kutukcu E, Arikan H, Coplu L

Received 9 December 2014

Accepted for publication 10 January 2015

Published 26 February 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 423—428

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S78937

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Melda Saglam,1 Naciye Vardar-Yagli,1 Sema Savci,2 Deniz Inal-Ince,1 Ebru Calik Kutukcu,1 Hülya Arikan,1 Lutfi Coplu3

1Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey; 2School of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey; 3Department of Chest Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


Background: The risk of hypoxemia increases with the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the deterioration of pulmonary function. The aim of this study was to compare functional capacity, physical activity, and quality of life in hypoxemic and non-hypoxemic patients with COPD.
Methods: Thirty-nine COPD patients (mean age: 62.0±7.03 years) were included in this study. Arterial blood gas tensions were measured, and patients were divided into two groups according to oxygen partial pressure (PaO2), the hypoxemic COPD (PaO2 <60 mmHg) (n=18), and the control (PaO2 ≥60 mmHg) (n=21) groups. Functional exercise capacity was evaluated using the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Oxygen saturation, dyspnea, and fatigue perception were measured before and after the 6MWT. Physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and an accelerometer. Quality of life was assessed using the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ).
Results: The number of emergency visits and hospitalizations were higher in hypoxemic patients (P<0.05). Lung function parameters, 6MWT distance, exercise oxygen saturation, IPAQ total score, and energy expenditure during daily life were significantly lower, but percentage of maximum heart rate reached during the 6MWT was significantly higher, in hypoxemic COPD patients than in controls (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Hypoxemia has a profound effect on functional capacity and physical activity in patients with COPD.

Keywords: COPD, hypoxemia, 6-minute walk test

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