Effects of concurrent exercise training on muscle dysfunction and systemic oxidative stress in older people with COPD

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2019 Oct;29(10):1591-1603. doi: 10.1111/sms.13494. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Oxidative stress is associated with disease severity and limb muscle dysfunction in COPD. Our main goal was to assess the effects of exercise training on systemic oxidative stress and limb muscle dysfunction in older people with COPD. Twenty-nine outpatients with COPD (66-90 years) were randomly assigned to a 12-week exercise training (ET; high-intensity interval training (HIIT) plus power training) or a control (CT; usual care) group. We evaluated mid-thigh muscle cross-sectional area (CSA; computed tomography); vastus lateralis (VL) muscle thickness, pennation angle, and fascicle length (ultrasonography); peak VO2 uptake (VO2peak ) and work rate (Wpeak ) (incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test); rate of force development (RFD); maximal muscle power (Pmax ; force-velocity testing); systemic oxidative stress (plasma protein carbonylation); and physical performance and quality of life. ET subjects experienced changes in mid-thigh muscle CSA (+4%), VL muscle thickness (+11%) and pennation angle (+19%), VO2peak (+14%), Wpeak (+37%), RFD (+32% to 65%), Pmax (+38% to 51%), sit-to-stand time (-24%), and self-reported health status (+20%) (all P < 0.05). No changes were noted in the CT group (P > 0.05). Protein carbonylation decreased among ET subjects (-27%; P < 0.05), but not in the CT group (P > 0.05). Changes in protein carbonylation were associated with changes in muscle size and pennation angle (r = -0.44 to -0.57), exercise capacity (r = -0.46), muscle strength (r = -0.45), and sit-to-stand performance (r = 0.60) (all P < 0.05). The combination of HIIT and power training improved systemic oxidative stress and limb muscle dysfunction in older people with COPD. Changes in oxidative stress were associated with exercise-induced structural and functional adaptations.

Keywords: aerobic capacity; endurance training; lung disease; muscle architecture; power output; protein carbonyls; redox status; resistance training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • High-Intensity Interval Training*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Functional Performance
  • Protein Carbonylation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiopathology
  • Quality of Life