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Arch Hellen Med, 32(4), July-August 2015, 441-450


The contribution of walking tests in the assessment of the severity of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases

A.G. Mathioudakis,1,2,3 V. Chatzimavridou-Grigoriadou,2,3 D. Savvoglou,2,3 E. Evangelopoulou,4 G.A. Mathioudakis3
1Chest Centre, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool, UK,
2Respiratory Assembly, Hellenic Society for the Advancement of Biomedical Research, Athens,
3Chest Centre of Athens, Athens,
4Respiratory Department, "Agios Panteleimon" General Hospital of Pireus, Nikea, Greece

Prolongation of survival and improvement of the quality of life constitute the ultimate targets of the management of chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Decreased functional capacity is the most debilitating problem of patients with these problems, and the degree of their disability is reflected in the measurements of exercise capacity, while it may be obscured in static laboratory tests, such as electrocardiography (ECG) and spirometry. Multiple methods can be used to assess physical activity. Among the tests of the functional reserve of the cardiopulmonary system and metabolism, some provide detailed information on all the systems involved in exercise, while others, which are more easily accessible, provide basic information that is adequately correlated with maximum oxygen consumption, quality of life indices and lung function test parameters. Among these, free walking tests on the horizontal plane are easy to use and they contribute to differential diagnosis and evaluation of the results of a treatment intervention, and they are associated with morbidity and mortality.

Key words: Cardiopulmonary diseases, Cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance, Quality of life, 6-minutes walking test.

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