Exercise Reduces COPD Death Risk

Posted on July 31, 2016 by ECR Louisville in Blog, Exercise

Any amount of exercise is good, but more is better

Getting some exercise — either a lot or a little — appears to lower the risk of dying among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following a disease-related hospitalization, according to findings from a retrospective, cohort study.

Patients who reported engaging in 150 minutes or more per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) following hospitalization for COPD had a 47% lower risk of death in the year following their hospitalization than patients who were inactive.

Those who reported engaging in some, but not as much, moderate to vigorous activity (1 to 149 minutes per week) had a 28% lower risk of dying, compared with inactive patients, researcher Huong Q. Nguyen, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and colleagues, wrote in a study published online March 16 in ERJ Open Research.

“Clinicians should routinely assess physical activity level and if patients are inactive, advise and assist them to become more active,” Nguyen told MedPage Today. “Those patients who are inactive and unable to exercise due to the severity of their disease may need closer monitoring and support for their COPD.”

She added that while clinicians are doing a better job educating their COPD patients about the importance of exercise, there is still room for improvement, especially in assessing physical activity as a first-line vital sign.

Being hospitalized for symptom exacerbation is a major risk factor for COPD mortality, with re-hospitalization and death rates as high as 25% and 21% in the year following a COPD hospitalization.

“Physical activity has emerged as a modifiable behavior that is associated with COPD outcomes,” the researchers wrote. “Higher levels of physical activity are associated with shorter hospital length of stay and decreased risk of acute exacerbations, hospitalizations, and death, independent of airflow obstruction.”

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by Salynn Boyles
Contributing Writer

Medpage Today