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Respir Med. 2013 May;107(5):778-84. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2013.02.006. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Effect of aerobic exercise training on fatigue and physical activity in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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Center for the Study of Chronic Illness and Disability, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MSN 2G7, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.



To investigate the effectiveness of an exercise intervention for decreasing fatigue severity and increasing physical activity in individuals with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). A small, phase 2 randomized clinical trial of the effect of aerobic exercise training on fatigue severity and physical activity in patients with idiopathic or PAH associated with other conditions was conducted.


Twenty-four patients with PAH (24 female; age: 54.4 ± 10.4 years; BMI: 30.8 ± 7.2 kg/m(2)) participated in the study. A convenience sample was recruited in which 9% (28 of 303) of screened patients were enrolled. The project was carried out in a clinical pulmonary rehabilitation clinic during existing pulmonary rehabilitation program sessions. Patients with PH were randomized into a 10-week program that consisted of patient education only or patient education plus an aerobic exercise-training regimen. Both groups received 20 lectures, two per week over the 10-weeks, on topics related to PAH and its management. The aerobic exercise training consisted of 24-30 sessions of treadmill walking for 30-45 min per session at an intensity of 70-80% of heart rate reserve, three days per week over the 10 weeks.


After 10-weeks of intervention, patients receiving aerobic exercise training plus education reported routinely engaging in higher levels of physical activity (p < 0.05) and a decrease in fatigue severity (p = 0.03). Patients in the education only group did not report changes in fatigue severity or participation in physical activity.


The 10-week aerobic exercise training intervention resulted in increased physical activity and decreased fatigue in individuals with PAH. Identifier: NCT00678821.

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