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Breaking news….not very exciting, but a step in the right direction,

Posted Feb 09 2013 2:48am

HOT OFF THE PRESS: “If it is not one thing it is another.” Anxiety, and Obstructive Lung Disease,  are like “peanut butter” and  chocolate” …made to go together.  We thought exercise helps, on both counts. Turns out, according to a just published study: Wheezer’s with anxiety exerercise more. Again, the “wheezer world conundrum.”  Does the exercise cause anxiety?  Or, do the anxious exercise more? Everyone has some anxiety.

We weren’t perfect when we got diagnosed. At least, I wasn’t. I feel better when I exercise. No further clinical study needed. But, thanks, Doctor’s, I am glad to see you are starting to get the picture.  You need to treat the entire person, just not the Wheeze.

Conclusions:  The increased PA associated with anxiety in COPD is a novel finding. However, it is unclear whether anxious COPD patients are more restless with increased psychomotor activity as a coping mechanism or whether those with COPD who push themselves to be more physically active experience more anxiety symptoms. Future studies should evaluate for anxiety and PA to better inform how to improve clinical outcomes.

Elderly Biking pic


Background:  Physical activity (PA) has been found to be an excellent predictor of mortality beyond traditional measures in COPD. We aimed to determine the association between depression and anxiety with accelerometry-based PA in patients with COPD.

Methods:  We performed a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from 148 stable patients with COPD enrolled in an ongoing longitudinal observational study. We measured physical activity (total daily step count) with a Stepwatch Activity Monitor over a 7-day period, depression and anxiety with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales (HADS), dyspnea with the Shortness of Breath Questionnaire and functional capacity with the six-minute walk test.

Results:  Increased anxiety was associated with higher levels of PA such that for every one-point increase in the HADS-A, there was a corresponding increase of 288 step counts per day (β=288 steps, p<0.001), after adjusting for all other variables. High depressive symptoms were associated with lower PA (β= -176 steps, p=0.02) only when anxiety was in the model. The interaction term for anxiety and depression approached significance (β=26, p=.10) suggesting that higher levels of anxiety mitigate the negative effects of depression on PA.


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