Aim: To identify the anthropometric, metabolic and mood state in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients from the west of Mexico and to evaluate the effect of Breathwalk (BW), a combination of walking, synchronized breathing and focussed attention, on those patients.
Methods: In an experimental study, 17 patients with serological and molecular diagnosis of HCV, not receiving pharmacological treatment, were studied. One hour sessions of BW were practiced 3 times at week for six months. Body composition was assessed by electric impedance. Biochemical profiles and insulin resistance (IR) risk was assessed by conventional methods. Mood state was evaluated with specific and open questions at the beginning and at the end of the program.
Results: Seventy percent of patients were overweight or obese, and 77% of the patients presented with IR at the beginning of the study. Improvements were observed at the 3rd mo, and statistically significant differences were recorded at the 6th mo using the fitness score (76 vs 83, P < 0.01), in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (106 +/- 93 U/L vs 59 +/- 32 U/L, P < 0.01), total bilirubin (0.09 +/- 1 mg/dL vs 0.62 +/- 0.2 mg/dL, P < 0.01), ALT/AST ratio (1.04 vs 0.70, P < 0.01), triglycerides (165 +/- 86 mg/dL vs 124 +/- 49 mg/dL, P < 0.01) and the IR risk (4.0 vs 2.7). Most patients (88%) indicated to feel better at the end of BW (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Breathwalk has an important effect on body composition, lipid profile and liver enzymes. It is also easy, inexpensive and has a beneficial effect on metabolic and mood state in HCV patients.