Physical activity levels are low in patients with pulmonary hypertension

Laura González-Saiz, Alejandro Santos-Lozano, Carmen Fiuza-Luces, Paz Sanz-Ayán, Carlos A. Quezada-Loaiza, Ana Ruiz-Casado, Lidia B. Alejo, Angela Flox-Camacho, María Morán, Alejandro Lucia, Pilar Escribano-Subías


Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) leads to exercise capacity impairment, but limited data are available on the objective evaluation of physical activity (PA) levels in these patients.
Methods: We assessed PA levels using triaxial accelerometry in Spanish PH patients (n=75, 48±14 years, 65% female) and gender/age matched controls (n=107), and examined potential associations of meeting minimum international recommendations [moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) ≥150 min/week] with survival predictors.
Results: With the exception of vigorous PA (with very low values in both groups), all accelerometry data showed significant differences between patients and controls, with lower PA levels and proportion of individuals meeting minimum PA guidelines, but higher inactivity time, in the former. Notably, the odds ratio (OR) of having a “low-risk” value of 6-minute walking distance (≥464 m) or ventilatory equivalent for carbon dioxide (≤39) was higher in patients following MVPA guidelines than in their less active peers [OR =4.3, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.6–11.6, P=0.005, and OR =4.5, 95% CI, 0.9–21.1, P=0.054].
Conclusions: Daily PA is reduced in patients with PH, often to a level that may decrease their odds of survival. Efforts should be made to promote the implementation of healthy PA habits in this patient population.