Exercise Training Ups Post-Transplant Functional Recovery

Three months of supervised training improves functional exercise capacity after lung transplant

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in supervised exercise training for three months following hospital discharge for lung transplantation significantly improves physical functions and cardiovascular morbidity for patients during the first year of recovery, according to a study published online March 5 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

To investigate the effect of supervised training on functional recovery and cardiovascular morbidity up to one year after lung transplantation, D. Langer, of the Catholic University of Leuven in Heverlee, Belgium, and associates randomly allocated patients older than 40 years with an uncomplicated postoperative experience to a three-month exercise training group (18 patients completed trial) or a matched control group (16 patients).

After one year, the researchers found that the daily walking time for treated patients was 85 ± 27 minutes, compared with 54 ± 30 minutes for those in the control group (P = 0.006). Quadriceps force, six-minute walking distance, and self-reported physical functioning were all significantly higher in the intervention cohort (P = 0.001, 0.002, and 0.039, respectively). Treated patients had significantly lower 24-hour ambulatory blood pressures.

"Based on these results, patients should be strongly encouraged to participate in an exercise training intervention after lung transplantation," the authors write.

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