Exercise tolerance and daily life in McArdle's disease

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McArdle's disease is a common disorder of muscle metabolism and is due to myophosphorylase deficiency. The major complaint of patients with this disease is effort intolerance. Although the clinical features of affected patients are well known, their daily lifestyle is not well documented. The main objective of this work was to assess their mean daily energy expenditure (DEE) and compare it with control subjects. Thirty patients and 87 control subjects completed a questionnaire. A 3-day self-record of daily physical activities was used to estimate the mean DEE for patients and control subjects. A separate section of the questionnaire was used to assess patients' clinical features and daily lifestyle. The DEE of patients (44.1 ± 6.9 kcal/kg) was not significantly different from control subjects (44.5 ± 5.6 kcal/kg). Half of the patients with McArdle's disease performed a daily physical leisure activity as sport, sometimes at a high level (17%). Despite large individual variation, physical abilities and patients' symptoms were negatively correlated. Physical leisure activity significantly decreased the sensation of muscle pain (P < 0.03). These findings show that patients with McArdle's disease do not have a strictly sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, physical exercise appears to have positive effects on the main clinical features, such as effort intolerance. Thus, regular, moderate physical activity may be beneficial in McArdle's disease. Muscle Nerve, 2005

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