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Exercise program improved health of lung transplant patients and cut cardiovascular risk
Date:6/21/2012

Lung transplant patients who took part in a three-month structured exercise program when they were discharged from hospital improved their health-related quality of life and reduced their risk of cardiovascular problems.

Those are the key findings of research published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

"People who have received lung transplants often have weak muscles and limited endurance due to their sedentary lifestyle before their transplant and the drugs they need to take after surgery," explains lead author Dr. Daniel Langer, a Belgian expert in respiratory diseases and rehabilitation.

Recent research by the authors showed that transplant patients often remain inactive after surgery. Up to a half also develop illnesses such as osteoporosis, high cholesterol levels and diabetes, with around 90% developing high blood pressure. It is well known that these health problems can be prevented by a physically active lifestyle.

"We were keen to explore whether an exercise training intervention would be capable of partially reversing these remaining limitations in muscle function, enabling patients to improve exercise capacity and increase their participation in daily activities."

Forty patients who had not experienced complications after single or double lung transplants were randomly allocated to two groups, with 21 patients taking part in a three-month exercise initiative and the other 19 forming the control group. Demographics for both groups, who had an average age of 59, were similar.

Patients in the intervention group exercised three times a week following their discharge from hospital, with each session lasting about 90 minutes. The training included cycling, walking, stair climbing and resistance exercise using leg press equipment. Exercise intensity increased during the three-month training programme.

The control group did not take part in the training regime. However, all the
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Contact: Amy Molnar
healthnews@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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