A recent study published in the American Journal of Transplantation indicates that a structured exercise program improves health of lung transplant patients.
Patients with lung disease are often inactive before lung transplantation because of their serious ailment. Their inactivity continues following surgery and result in illnesses like osteoporosis, high cholesterol levels, diabetes and high blood pressure.
AdvertisementForty patients who had either single or double lung transplantation underwent a study to evaluate the effectiveness of an exercise regimen post transplantation. Among these, 21 patients underwent a three-month exercise program, while the others were controls for comparison. The exercise program included cycling, walking, stair climbing and resistance exercise using leg press equipment. All the patients in the study also underwent daily mobility exercises that included walking, cycling, stair climbing and resistance exercises for a duration of around 6 weeks.
The final analysis was carried out on 18 patients who underwent the exercise regimen and 16 patients from the control group one year following discharge from the hospital.
The researchers found that patients who underwent the exercise regimen could walk for an average of 85 minutes, whereas patients from the control group could walk for an average of 54 minutes. The patients on the exercise regimen showed lower blood pressure as compared to the control group.
The study thus concludes that an exercise regimen begun soon after hospital discharge is beneficial in people who have undergone lung transplantation to keep the patients fit and reduce the chances of heart-related complications.
Exercise program improved health of lung transplant patients and cut cardiovascular risk; Langer et al; American Journal of Transplantation