Breathing Pattern Retraining and Exercise in Persons with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
"Smaller breaths conserve energy in the short term but contribute to respiratory muscle fatigue and hyperinflation as the work of exercise increases or is prolonged."
"A properly designed breathing retraining program in which patients with COPD learn to control their pattern of breathing under the stress of performing different modes of exercise at increasing intensity and duration may markedly decrease dyspnea and improve gas exchange."
AACN Clinical Issues -Volume 12, number 2, pp 202-209 (c) 2001 AACN
Lung Function May Predict Long Life Or Early Death
How well your lungs function may predict how long you live. This finding is the result of a nearly 30-year follow-up of the association between impaired pulmonary function and all causes of mortality, conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo. Results of the study appear in the September issue of Chest.
The purpose of the current study was to investigate the association between pulmonary function and mortality for periods that extended past 25 years, the limit of previous studies. Dr. SchÃ¼nemann and colleagues also wanted to determine for how long pulmonary function is a significant predictor of mortality.
Results showed that lung function was a significant predictor of longevity in the whole group for the full 29 years of follow-up. "It is important to note that the risk of death was increased for participants with moderately impaired lung function, not merely those in the lowest quintile," Dr. Schanemann said. "This suggests that the increased risk isn't confined to a small fraction of the population with severely impaired lung function."
The reasons lung function may predict mortality are not clear, Dr. Schunemann said, noting that increased risk is found in persons who never smoked, as well as among smokers.
"The lung is a primary defense organism against environmental toxins. It could be that impaired pulmonary function could lead to decreased tolerance against these toxins. Researchers also have speculated that decreased pulmonary function could underlie an increase in oxidative stress from free radicals, and we know that oxidative stress plays a role in the development of many diseases."
Dr. Schanemann said the fact that a relationship does exists between lung function and risk of death should motivate physicians to screen patients for pulmonary function, even if more research is needed to determine why. "It is surprising that this simple measurement has not gained more importance as a general health assessment tool," he noted. Schunemann HJ, Dorn J, Grant BJB, Winkelstein W, Jr., Trevisan M. Pulmonary Function Is a Long-term Predictor of Mortality in the General Population 29-Year Follow-up of the Buffalo Health Study. Chest 2000;118(3)656-664.