COPD as a Systemic Disease: Impact on Physical Functional Limitations

Mark D. Eisner MD, Blanc PD, Yelin EH,Sidney S, Katz PP, Ackerson L, Lathon P, Tolstykh I, Omachi T, Byl N, Iribarren C

The authors of this study aimed to establish the physical functional limitations that are directly attributable to COPD compared to a matched referent group without COPD.
Subjects were matched for age, sex, and race and measures used to study the impact of COPD on the risk of a broad array of functional limitations included: lower extremity function (Short Physical Performance Battery), submaximal exercise performance (Six Minute Walk Test), standing balance (Functional Reach Test), skeletal muscle strength (manual muscle testing with dynamometry), and self-reported functional limitation (standardized item battery).

COPD was associated with poorer lower extremity function, less distance walked during the SMWT, weaker muscle strength in every muscle group tested, including both the upper and lower extremities and carried a greater risk of self-reported functional limitation.

The American Journal of Medicine 2008; 121: 789 – 796

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