Breathing Helium Improves Exercise in Pulmonary Disease
Increases exercise intensity and duration in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who breathe helium during pulmonary rehabilitation increase their exercise intensity and duration and improve their quality of life more than patients who breathe air, according to research published in the March issue of Chest.
Neil D. Eves, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 38 patients with COPD who were undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation to breathing helium-hyperoxia or air while cycling for 30 minutes, three days a week for six weeks, and compared exercise intensity between the two groups.
The researchers found that the helium-hyperoxia group had a significantly greater change in constant-load exercise time after rehabilitation, a significantly higher exercise intensity and training duration during rehabilitation, and less leg discomfort at an exercise isotime. Both groups had a significant reduction in dyspnea at an exercise isotime, a significant improvement in health-related quality of life, and similar changes in exertional symptoms and peak oxygen consumption.
"Breathing helium-hyperoxia during pulmonary rehabilitation increases the intensity and duration of exercise training that can be performed and results in greater improvements in constant-load exercise time for patients with COPD," Eves and colleagues conclude.