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Exercise Testing Predicts Death in Lung Fibrosis Patients

Risk of death higher in patients below a threshold of oxygen uptake

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis whose maximal oxygen uptake during exercise is below a certain threshold have a higher risk of death, according to study findings published in the Mar. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Charlene D. Fell, M.D., from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues retrospectively examined whether changes in maximal oxygen uptake during cardiopulmonary exercise testing over time could predict mortality in 117 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

The researchers found that after adjusting for possible confounding factors, the risk of death was significantly higher in patients with a baseline maximal oxygen uptake less than 8.3 mL/kg/min (hazard ratio 3.24). No unit change in maximal oxygen uptake was identified that could predict survival, the authors note.

"We conclude that a threshold maximal oxygen uptake of 8.3 ml/kg/min during cardiopulmonary exercise testing at baseline adds prognostic information for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis," Fell and colleagues write.

An author of the study reports an association with companies developing treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

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