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J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 May;27(5):1309-12. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.1309. Epub 2015 May 26.

Functional exercise capacity, physical activity, and respiratory and peripheral muscle strength in pulmonary hypertension according to disease severity.

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Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hacettepe University, Turkey.
School of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey.
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Turkey.
Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Turkey.


[Purpose] This study investigated functional capacity, physical activity, and respiratory and peripheral muscle strength in different functional classes of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) compared with healthy subjects. [Subjects and Methods] This study included 31 patients with class II (n = 16) or class III (n = 15) PAH, classified according to the World Health Organization. Fifteen healthy subjects served as controls. Functional capacity was assessed using the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Physical activity was determined using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form (IPAQ-SF). Respiratory muscle strength was measured using a mouth pressure device. Peripheral muscle strength was evaluated using a dynamometer. [Results] The 3 groups had similar demographic variables (p > 0.05). There were significant differences in 6MWT distance, maximal inspiratory pressure, and IPAQ categorical classification between the 3 groups (p < 0.05). Maximal expiratory pressure; total IPAQ score; and knee extensor, shoulder abductor, and hand grip strength were significantly lower in PAH patients (classes II and III) than in healthy subjects (p < 0.05). [Conclusion] As PAH progresses, respiratory muscle strength, functional exercise capacity, and physical activity decrease. Functional class should be taken into consideration when planning rehabilitation programs for this patient group.


Functional capacity; Physical activity; Pulmonary hypertension

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