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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 1/2015

Relationship between pulmonary exacerbations and daily physical activity in adults with cystic fibrosis

BMC Pulmonary Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2015
Daniela Savi, Nicholas Simmonds, Marcello Di Paolo, Serena Quattrucci, Paolo Palange, Winston Banya, Nicholas S. Hopkinson, Diana Bilton
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

Conception and design of the work: DS. Acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work: DS, NS, MDP, SQ, PP, WB, NSH and DB. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content: DS, NS, MDP, SQ, PP, WB, NSH and DB. Final approval of the version to be published: DS, NS, MDP, SQ, PP, WB, NSH and DB.



The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between pulmonary exacerbations and physical activity (PA) in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF).


We grouped adults with CF according to their exacerbation status in the year before study enrolment: (1) <1 exacerbation/year; (2) 1–2 exacerbations/year; and (3) >2 exacerbations/year. PA was assessed objectively by means of an accelerometer at the time of study enrolment.


Patients with >2 exacerbations/year spent less time in PA; specifically, fewer activities of mild intensity [>3 metabolic equivalents (METs)], and lower active energy expenditure (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively). After correcting for relevant confounders, PA levels were not related to the exacerbation frequency in the preceding year. PA at moderate intensity (4.8–7.2 METs) or greater (>7.2 METs) was independently associated with gender and FEV1 % predicted (P = 0.007 and P = 0.04, respectively). Compared with men, women had reduced vigorous activities (P = 0.01) and active energy expenditure (P = 0.01).


Adult CF patients with more pulmonary exacerbations in the preceding year have more advanced disease and are less active than their peers. PA was independently associated with gender and airflow obstruction. Gender differences in PA are evident in CF adults.
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