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Exercise performance and symptoms in lowlanders with COPD ascending to moderate altitude: randomized trial


Furian, Michael; Flueck, Deborah; Latshang, Tsogyal D; Scheiwiller, Philipp M; Segitz, Sebastian Daniel; Mueller-Mottet, Séverine; Murer, Christian; Steiner, Adrian; Ulrich, Silvia; Rothe, Thomas; Kohler, Malcolm; Bloch, Konrad E (2018). Exercise performance and symptoms in lowlanders with COPD ascending to moderate altitude: randomized trial. International Journal of COPD, 13:3529-3538.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the effects of altitude travel on exercise performance and symptoms in lowlanders with COPD.
Design: Randomized crossover trial.
Setting: University Hospital Zurich (490 m), research facility in mountain villages, Davos Clavadel (1,650 m) and Davos Jakobshorn (2,590 m).
Participants: Forty COPD patients, Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) grade 2-3, living below 800 m, median (quartiles) age 67 y (60; 69), forced expiratory volume in 1 second 57% predicted (49; 70).
Intervention: Two-day sojourns at 490 m, 1,650 m, and 2,590 m in randomized order.
Outcome measures: Six-minute walk distance (6MWD), cardiopulmonary exercise tests, symptoms, and other health effects.
Results: At 490 m, days 1 and 2, median (quartiles) 6MWD were 558 m (477; 587) and 577 m (531; 629). At 2,590 m, days 1 and 2, mean changes in 6MWD from corresponding day at 490 m were -41 m (95% CI -51 to -31) and -40 m (-53 to -27), n=40, <0.05, both changes. At 1,650 m, day 1, 6MWD had changed by -22 m (-32 to -13), maximal oxygen uptake during bicycle exercise by -7% (-13 to 0) vs 490 m, <0.05, both changes. At 490 m, 1,650 m, and 2,590 m, day 1, resting PaO were 9.0 (8.4; 9.4), 8.1 (7.5; 8.6), and 6.8 (6.3; 7.4) kPa, respectively, <0.05 higher altitudes vs 490 m. While staying at higher altitudes, nine patients (24%) experienced symptoms or adverse health effects requiring oxygen therapy or relocation to lower altitude.
Conclusion: During sojourns at 1,650 m and 2,590 m, lowlanders with moderate to severe COPD experienced a mild reduction in exercise performance and nearly one quarter required oxygen therapy or descent to lower altitude because of adverse health effects. The findings may help to counsel COPD patients planning altitude travel.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the effects of altitude travel on exercise performance and symptoms in lowlanders with COPD.
Design: Randomized crossover trial.
Setting: University Hospital Zurich (490 m), research facility in mountain villages, Davos Clavadel (1,650 m) and Davos Jakobshorn (2,590 m).
Participants: Forty COPD patients, Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) grade 2-3, living below 800 m, median (quartiles) age 67 y (60; 69), forced expiratory volume in 1 second 57% predicted (49; 70).
Intervention: Two-day sojourns at 490 m, 1,650 m, and 2,590 m in randomized order.
Outcome measures: Six-minute walk distance (6MWD), cardiopulmonary exercise tests, symptoms, and other health effects.
Results: At 490 m, days 1 and 2, median (quartiles) 6MWD were 558 m (477; 587) and 577 m (531; 629). At 2,590 m, days 1 and 2, mean changes in 6MWD from corresponding day at 490 m were -41 m (95% CI -51 to -31) and -40 m (-53 to -27), n=40, <0.05, both changes. At 1,650 m, day 1, 6MWD had changed by -22 m (-32 to -13), maximal oxygen uptake during bicycle exercise by -7% (-13 to 0) vs 490 m, <0.05, both changes. At 490 m, 1,650 m, and 2,590 m, day 1, resting PaO were 9.0 (8.4; 9.4), 8.1 (7.5; 8.6), and 6.8 (6.3; 7.4) kPa, respectively, <0.05 higher altitudes vs 490 m. While staying at higher altitudes, nine patients (24%) experienced symptoms or adverse health effects requiring oxygen therapy or relocation to lower altitude.
Conclusion: During sojourns at 1,650 m and 2,590 m, lowlanders with moderate to severe COPD experienced a mild reduction in exercise performance and nearly one quarter required oxygen therapy or descent to lower altitude because of adverse health effects. The findings may help to counsel COPD patients planning altitude travel.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:03 Jan 2019 10:45
Last Modified:04 Jan 2019 07:49
Publisher:Dove Medical Press Ltd.
ISSN:1176-9106
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S173039
PubMed ID:30464436

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