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Associations of total and type-specific physical activity with mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a population-based cohort study

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posted on 27.02.2018, 09:33 by Sonia Wing Mei Cheng, Zoe McKeough, Jennifer Alison, Sarah Dennis, Mark Hamer, Emmanuel Stamatakis
Background: Regular physical activity is recommended for all people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but the dose of physical activity required to gain mortality benefit in this population is not yet known. This aim of this study was to examine the associations of total and type-specific physical activity with mortality risk in people with COPD. Methods: People with COPD aged ≥40 years were identified from the 1997 Health Survey for England and the 1998 and 2003 Scottish Health Survey cohorts. Self-reported total physical activity, moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA), walking, domestic physical activity, and sport/exercise were assessed at baseline. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the associations between physical activity and mortality risk. Results: Two thousand three hundred ninety-eight participants with COPD were included in the analysis and followed up for a mean 8.5 (SD 3.9) years. For both total physical activity and MVPA, we observed doseresponse associations with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risk, and with respiratory mortality risk to a lesser extent. Compared to those who reported no physical activity, participants who met the physical activity guidelines demonstrated the greatest reductions in all-cause (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.45–0.69), CVD (HR 0.48, 95% CI 0.32–0.71) and respiratory mortality risk (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.24–0.67). Participants who reported a level of physical activity of at least half the dosage recommended by the guidelines also had a reduced risk of all-cause (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.56–1.00) and CVD mortality (HR 0.48, 95% CI 0.26–0.88). Doseresponse associations with mortality risk were demonstrated for walking and sport/exercise, but not domestic physical activity. Conclusions: We found a dose-response association between physical activity and all-cause and CVD mortality risk in people with COPD, with protective effects appearing at levels considerably lower than the general physical activity recommendations. People with COPD may benefit from engagement in low levels of physical activity, particularly walking and structured exercise.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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BMC Public Health


CHENG, S.W.M. ... et al, 2018. Associations of total and type-specific physical activity with mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a population-based cohort study. BMC Public Health, 18:268


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