Effect of an Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program on Exercise Tolerance and Asthma Control in Obese Asthma Patients
To compare the effects of an outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program on exercise tolerance and asthma control in obese and nonobese patients with asthma.METHODS:
Nonobese (body mass index [BMI] <30 kg/m2) and obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) patients with asthma who participated in a local multidisciplinary 12-week PR program were analyzed retrospectively. Effects of PR were assessed by changes in 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) and Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ).RESULTS:
A total of 138 asthma patients were included: 53 (38.4%) obese and 85 (61.6%) nonobese. At baseline, obese patients with asthma had a lower level of exercise tolerance reflected by a lower 6MWD (525 m vs 621 m; P < .001). After PR, the 6MWD improved significantly in both groups (≥50 m in nonobese vs ≥45 m in obese; P < .001 in both groups). The improvement in 6MWD was clinically relevant in 71% of the nonobese and 60% of the obese patients. These patients had lower 6MWD (P = .024), higher usage of long-acting β-agonist (P = .034) and oral corticosteroids (P = .033). Asthma control also improved in both groups (ΔACQ −0.3 in nonobese vs ΔACQ −0.4 in obese; P = .021 and P = .019, respectively). Clinically relevant improvement was achieved by 46.5% of nonobese and 51.9% of obese patients with asthma. The improvements between the groups were not statistically different.CONCLUSIONS:
A standardized PR program is feasible in obese patients with asthma and they benefit as much as nonobese patients with asthma. However, there are still a large number of patients who show no clinically significant improvement. Patients with more severe asthma seem to benefit the most from PR.