, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 168-173
Date: 13 Feb 2014

Pulmonary Function Tests, Aerobic Capacity, Respiratory Muscle Strength and Endurance of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) show lower cardiorespiratory fitness than normal subjects. This study was planned to investigate the pulmonary function tests (PFT), respiratory muscle strength and endurance, and aerobic capacity of patients with RA, as well as the relationship of these parameters to clinical and functional status. Twenty-five RA patients aged 25–71 (48.52 ± 14.09) and 21 control subjects aged 25–66 (45.67 ± 13.27) participated in the study. PFT, maximum volunteer ventilation, maximum inspiratory and maximum expiratory pressures and cardiorespiratory exercise tests were carried out in all subjects to evaluate the respiratory involvement, inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength and endurance, and aerobic capacity. Patients’ duration of disease, smoking and alcohol habits, duration of morning stiffness, visual analogue scale scores, ARA functional classifications and Ritchie articular indexes were recorded. All the patients and control subjects were non-exercising individuals. As a result, we found that RA patients have normal PFT but reduced respiratory muscle strength and endurance, and also reduced aerobic capacity compared to controls. According to this result, respiratory and aerobic exercises may be recommended to improve respiratory muscle strength and endurance and aerobic capacity in these patients.

Received: 13 January 2000 / Accepted: 18 September 2000