News from ISGlobal
A drop in physical activity after a respiratory COPD exacerbation or attack has an important and lasting effect and higher exacerbation frequencies are associated with more pronounced declines in physical activity. "An unexpected finding was that two or more moderate exacerbations (treated without hospital admission) resulted in a long-term decline in physical activity equivalent to that of a severe event (with hospitalization), which confirms the importance of prevention and early management of exacerbations regardless of the severity", Heleen Demeyer explains. She is first author of the study and researcher from KU Leuven and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.
The study was based on data from 141 patients from five European healthcare centres (in Greece, Scotland, England, Belgium and The Netherlands). Researchers measured physical activity using accelerometers and retrieved the number and severity of exacerbations during a 12 month follow up. The patients' perception of their physical activity was also assessed.
“Patients with frequent exacerbations constitute a specific disease phenotype with a worse prognosis, specifically a faster loss in lung function, a greater worsening of health status and a substantial reduction in the amount of physical activity”, explains Judith Garcia-Aymerich, ISGlobal researcher and coordinator of the study.
Demeyer H., et. al., PROactive Consortium. Both moderate and severe exacerbations accelerate physical activity decline in COPD patients. Eur Respir J. 2018 Jan 25;51(1).