Benefits of intensive treadmill exercise training on cardiorespiratory function and quality of life in patients with pulmonary hypertension

Chest. 2013 Feb 1;143(2):333-343. doi: 10.1378/chest.12-0993.


Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) restricts the ability to engage in physical activity and decreases longevity. We examined the impact of aerobic exercise training on function and quality of life in patients with World Health Organization group 1 PH.

Methods: Patients were randomized to a 10-week education only (EDU) or education/exercise combined (EXE) group. The exercise program consisted of 24-30 sessions of treadmill walking for 30-45 min per session at 70% to 80% of heart rate reserve. Outcome variables included changes in 6-min walk test (6MWT) distance, time to exercise intolerance, peak work rate (WR) from a cardiopulmonary treadmill test, and quality-of-life measures, including the Short Form Health Survey, version 2 (SF-36v2) and Cambridge Pulmonary Hypertension Outcome Review (CAMPHOR).

Results: Data are presented as mean SD. Twenty-three women (age, 54 11 years; BMI, 31 7 kg/m 2 ) were randomized to the EDU (n 5 13) or EXE (n 5 10) groups. Following 10 weeks of intervention, patients in the EXE group demonstrated an improvement in 6MWT distance (56 45 m; P 5 .002), increased time to exercise intolerance (1.9 1.3 min; P 5 .001), and peak WR (26 23 W; P 5 .004). Additionally, the EXE group scored significantly ( P , .050) better on six of the eight scales on SF-36v2, and fi ve of the six scales on CAMPHOR. In contrast, no significant improvement was observed for any of the outcome measures following EDU. No adverse events were noted in either group.

Conclusion: Ten weeks of brisk treadmill walking improved 6MWT distance, cardiorespiratory function, and patient-reported quality of life in female patients with group 1 PH.

Trial registration: NCT00678821.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / classification
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiratory System / physiopathology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking*
  • World Health Organization

Associated data