March 02, 2016
1 min read

Low levels of activity correlate with physical, mental fatigue, low energy

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Among patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, low levels of recorded activity may lead to susceptibility to physical and mental fatigue and low energy levels, according to study results published in Chest.

“Fatigue is a common symptom in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); however, the impact of fatigue on daily physical activity in PAH is unknown,” Lea Ann Matura, PhD, of University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, and colleagues wrote. “Accelerometry is a validated measure for assessing physical activity. We hypothesized that patients with PAH reporting higher levels of fatigue would have lower daily physical activity measured by accelerometry.”

Matura and colleagues performed a prospective study of 15 women (mean age, 50.5 years) with pulmonary arterial hypertension, 53% of whom had heritable or idiopathic PAH, according to the abstract.

On the first day, researchers administered the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, the United States Cambridge Pulmonary Hypertension Outcome Review, and a 6 minute walk test for baseline measurements. The researchers instructed patients to wear an accelerometer on their dominant hip to measure walking activity for 7 days as well as complete an activity diary. The patients repeated the baseline tests at day 15 before recording an additional 7 days of activity in their diaries.

Matura and colleagues found that patients were sedentary 85% of the time, with low level activity being performed 10% of the time, according to the abstract. They found an association between low levels of recorded activity and worse self-reported energy levels, with low levels of activity associated with issues like physical fatigue, mental fatigue and total activity.

However, Matura and colleagues noted that high percentage of activity bouts were also associated with worse self-reported energy levels. – by Jeff Craven

Disclosure: Matura and several other researchers report receipt of advisory board fees from Actelion. Please see the full study for a list of all other researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.