Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who participated in any level of moderate to vigorous physical activity had a lower risk of hospital readmission within 30 days compared to those who were inactive, according to a study published today in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
Researchers examined the electronic health records of 6,042 Kaiser Permanente patients in Southern California who were 40 years or older and who were hospitalized with COPD between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012. As part of Kaiser Permanente’s clinical practice to inquire about Exercise as a Vital Sign, the patients’ self-reported physical activity was documented in their electronic health record during routine clinical visits along with other vital signs such as blood pressure. Patient data was then categorized into three physical activity groups: inactive, insufficiently active, and active. Researchers found that patients with COPD who exercised 150 minutes a week or more had a 34 percent lower risk of readmission within 30 days compared to those who were inactive. Patients who reported less than 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity still had a 33 percent lower risk of 30-day readmission compared to those who did not exercise at all.
“The results of this study are groundbreaking because measures of physical activity were derived from routine clinical care, instead of lengthy physical activity surveys or activity devices in smaller research samples,” said the study’s lead author, Huong Nguyen, PhD, RN, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. “Previous research has only analyzed the relationship between physical inactivity and increased mortality rate and hospitalizations, but not 30-day readmissions in patients with COPD.”
The patient base in this study was ethnically diverse; the group of patients analyzed were 68 percent white, 15 percent black, 12 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander. The number of men and women in the study was also similar to the overall COPD patient population.
“Many health care systems are currently focused on providing interventions at or soon after hospital discharge to reduce readmissions,” Nguyen said. “This study is novel in that we were able to capture information about patients’ usual physical activity well before the initial hospitalization and provides evidence that supports the promotion of physical activity across the COPD care continuum. Our findings suggest that regular physical activity could buffer the stresses of hospitalization. Future studies will focus on determining whether we can reduce hospitalizations by improving physical activity in patients with COPD.”
According to a 2013 joint statement by the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society, exercise training, as part of pulmonary rehabilitation, has demonstrated improvement in quality of life in COPD patients. The two groups developed a set of physical activity training guidelines, which state that exercising three to five times a week will help improve COPD symptoms, physical functioning and quality of life.
In 2009, Kaiser Permanente became one of the first health care organizations to systemically log patients’ physical activity in their
This exercise program was developed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy student from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The video is meant to encou…
Does your child get enough exercise? You can get your children more active with these 5 fun parenting tips.
In just four steps, you can improve your health for the better and this article will show you how. The steps below are bite-sized nuggets of health information you can actually use to live a healthy life. Here we go… Nutritional supplements are the first step As far as I’m concerned, they are very important […]
Several food and nutrition trends were in the spotlight this year, including the continued rise of plant-based diets, non-dairy ice creams and superfoods that are blasts from the past — legumes, apples and cabbage. It can be easy to experience nutrition whiplash in the New Year, but don’t be a victim. Get a jump-start on […]
If you want to lose weight, you’re not alone. More than half of Americans desire to shed pounds, according to Gallup. This goal inspires people to take action in many ways, from increasing exercise to modifying meals. One thing many people do is skip breakfast in order to lower calorie intake. While this may seem […]