Borghi-Silva A, Arena R, Castello V, SimÃµes RP, Martins LE, Catai AM, Costa D
The purpose of the present investigation is to assess the effects of a 6-week aerobic exercise training program on autonomic modulation of heart rate in patients with COPD. Forty patients of both sexes with moderate-to-severe COPD were randomly allocated to aerobic exercise training or to usual care. The training program consisted of lower and upper limb stretching and 30min of treadmill exercise, 3 times per week for a 6-week period. Physiological data during symptom-limited exercise testing and the six-minute walk test (6MWT) were assessed.
The results showed that neural control of heart rate, in addition to other clinically valuable measures, is positively altered in moderate-severe COPD patients following 6 weeks of aerobic exercise training. The improvement in submaximal performance after exercise training was associated with parasympathetic activity.
Respir Medicine, 2009 May 21, online article ahead of print